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“Words, words, words.”

–Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Autographed photograph of the American actor J...

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Hamlet couldn’t have summed it up any better. Just one of many reasons why he’s my favorite of Shakespeare’s characters. Feel free to interpret that line of his however you wish.

Words are wonderful things. I love them. Obscure words. Forgotten words. Neglected words. But sometimes they get to be a bit demanding. In spite of the joy of discovering new words, one can only take so many words. Sometimes it’s the commonplace words that pop out of one’s mind and into the black hole of forgetfulness due to our crammed and limited memory banks (an annoying problem of mine).

Sherlock Holmes understands that pain in a sense. That’s why he couldn’t care less about the Copernican Theory in A Study in Scarlet — one new bit of knowledge can shove another thing out of an already-crammed “brain-attic.” Poor guy. I sympathize.

But working with words is essentially what I do. And even though I enjoy them, I need to clear my head of them now and then.

That’s possibly why I’m drawn to instrumental music as opposed to the lyric-laden variety.

Perhaps it was for this reason that the other day, after getting a fair amount accomplished in the word department, I felt the need to attempt teaching myself Grieg’s Funeral March for Rikard Nordraak on the piano. I heard that piece for the first time the other day, loved it, and it found it necessary to play it. It’s like some kind of demented illness, that sudden desire to learn things that I may or may not accomplish in the end (I rarely learn musical pieces in their entirety). Nevertheless, it made for an enjoyable, word-free afternoon, which lead to an extremely wordy evening.

Music is another language. It can be written and read, except it is a wordless tongue in terms of the notes (obviously fortissimo, legato, grave, etc. are words of the language of music or I’d be in denial).

Wouldn’t it be nice if understanding English and music could qualify for being considered bilingual?


Have a Happy Thanksgiving, one and all.