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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Don Giovanni Weather with Ghosts

http://amzn.to/1TDh07s  My Mozart  ISBN:  1927476364

What we’ve had here today has been sun, clouds, and a sort of golden light falling through autumnal trees that I call Don Giovanni weather. And what, you ask, makes me call it that? Well, it’s the end of October now and we are approaching Halloween, the time of year, when, in 1787, to thunderous applause, this opera first debuted. The city was Prague, not Vienna, because, by that time the arbiters of taste in the latter city had decided that Mozart was NOT cool anymore. The infamous con man, Casanova, may have sat in with Lorenzo DaPonte, while the libretto was written. (Back then, the  guy who wrote the words was called “the poet.”) 

When I entered one of those demented OCD states of mind to which I am prone, in the mid-eighties, it was All Mozart All The Time at our house. I began to write two Mozart novels, “Mozart’s Wife” and “My Mozart.” Wouldn’t want anyone reading the titles to wonder what the subject was.

http://amzn.to/1Vy47lm  Mozart’s Wife  ISBN:  1461109612

It happened on a Saturday. Outside, it was doing the classic autumn change over. The silver maples were a staggering yellow that year. The azure sky ( I’m not exaggerating) had been clear all morning, but suddenly, the wind rose and a fleet of puffy, gray-bottomed clouds began to put  a lid on the clear as a bell part of the day. I was doing housework, still attempting the working woman’s bit where you try to do double time and do lots of housework and cooking over weekends. Of course, I was blasting Don Giovanni, absolutely saturating my cells with every note—just as I used to do all through the '60's and ‘70’s with rock’n’roll.     

Husband was off somewhere, and the house was empty of teenage sons, too, so the only nerves I was exercising were my own. In those days I had a fabulous pair of pink high top sneakers that looked killer good with jeans. Jeepers, this was a long time ago--back in the last century...

What happened in my kitchen that afternoon is the only supernatural encounter I’ve had in this house. I’d been making a stromboli for the family, starting with making dough.  I think there genuinely are no ghosts in the structure; this house was built in 1948. There has been anger and grief, but no death. So, in this case the "supernatural" experience focused on me.
To say plain, I'd overdosed on Mozart. And, on this day, too much Don Giovanni, too much dwelling in and on the stories of the past in which I had been immersed, imagining and then writing. This led the strong personality of that singular, charismatic personality, drawn by hero-worship as well as the sound of his music, to pass the gate.

I heard a loud creak, and spun around--dough laid out and ready to receive the layer of meat, cheese, tomato and sweet pepper. There he stood, standing on my 1948-era brick pattern linoleum. Needless to say, after all those long dead years he looked terrible—the “great nosed Mozart” as a contemporary called him. He was gaunt, frail, and his face was lined with suffering, but he was undeniably present.


From "The Mozart Brothers" 

Saw him clear as day, I did. He had been heralded by a loud creak followed by an unearthly groan, that old movie sound of the hinges of hell—or, of heaven--swinging wide. It was so loud it overcame the Don, pouring from the kitchen speakers. I jumped backwards, all the way across the kitchen in those pink high top sneakers. By the time the time my feet hit the vinyl once again, Mozart was gone.  

~~Juliet Waldron

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