The Organist Entertains

by Steve

Elthel Smith at the organ, record sleeveApologies for my protracted absence. After hitting something of a brick wall, I’m now overwhelmed in terms of subjects I could blog about. There is all manner of subjects cluttering my brain/stimulating my brain, depending on the time of day/my general disposition/etc/etc.

In terms of football, there is the continued soap opera concerning Liverpool’s ownership, while last night’s international games saw an incredibly underwhelming performance from England, and some shocking scenes in the Italy/Serbia game, as Serbian hooligans managed to get the game abandoned after only a few minutes.

In terms of baseball, the play-offs have been very entertaining, and the World Series draws ever closer.

In music, I’m growing to love the new Deerhunter album, the new Walkmen LP is great, as expected, and I’m even warming to Belle & Sebastian’s latest effort.

Reading-wise, I’m still ploughing through The Corrections, and have read some great pieces in a recent New York Review of Books. The Guardian’s books coverage has been reliably excellent too.

Meanwhile, wedding plans are progressing very nicely!

So there you have it, a fair round-up of my interests/activities over the past couple of weeks, and a veritable bounty of potential blog ‘content’. Egh. ‘Content’ is a horrible word in that sense, isn’t it?

However, I will plead the scoundrel’s excuse of lack of time for these matters. Of course, I could make the time, and perhaps I will, but other matters both trivial and less so, have governed my time of late. Plus, with so many of these things, it takes time for me to sift through and make sense of what I want to say. So, instead, a little tale for you.

Yesterday lunchtime I found myself in a big old church, close to my work, listening to an organ recital. This is entirely out-of-character. I dabble in classical music, and it is probably fair to say I dabble in religion too, but I’d never been to an event like this before. But, it was free, and it seemed like a nice alternative to fighting the hoards in food outlets/shopping/sitting in a coffee shop with an overpriced beverage/sitting at desk staring at screen.

I’d brought something to read and something to eat, but upon arrival it was clear that the audience were there to listen, and just listen. This turned out to be a great idea, and a real blessing. Instead of trying to multi-task (and inevitably not giving anything my full attention), I instead sat back, let the music pour over me, marvelled at the architecture, and let myself think.

It was wonderful to have this time out, and to allow myself some space, rather than try to pile several different things in my head at once. I left feeling refreshed and uplifted. What could have been a rather odd experience was in fact really rather moving.

Of course, I stepped back out into a world full of books and sport and music and food and fun. And I love that world. It was just wonderful and worthwhile taking a proper break and letting myself breathe a little.

I can’t see me giving up my multi-tasking addiction just yet, with its beautiful inefficiency, but it was good to have a reminder of the benefit of stepping away from information overload, if just for a lunchtime. This world has so much good stuff I want to hoover up, yet I also need to remember to stop and collect my thoughts once in a while.

Image from Kevin Dooley via Flickr