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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Last #Laugh. By John von Daler

                        I sometimes sit quietly while everyone around me is laughing. A good exercise, I suppose, in personal integrity: be true to your own beliefs and feelings.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Dream Unwanted. By John von Daler

                      Once upon a time there was a Little #Dream that nobody wanted. Not that it had any special faults, it was mostly very innocent, but the story that it told involved people who hardly knew each other doing things people usually do when they know each other extremely well.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Float. By John von Daler

                        Like lost balloons, she thought, My feelings are like lost balloons. I'm a kid in Tivoli who loosens her fingers just for a split second and stands there crying while her balloons drift away into the sky.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Garcia Marquez. By John von Daler

              Any book that starts with a sentence like

"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."

             has to be worth reading.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Night and Day. By John von Daler

                "Oh, my!"
                You see, I heard the words just as I awakened with a start - or a stop - in the middle of one gigantic snore. I lay on our little, black couch in the living room, my head toward the books, my feet toward the piano.
                "Pleeze, monsieur! You may wake ze dead wiz your snoring."

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Kilted Symbol. By John von Daler

                          We sat on the beach in Zanzibar and looked out across the strait towards Tanzania. We were feeling free, on vacation, inquisitive. The warm scent of unfamiliar spices and the blue-green view caught us by surprise and lifting us from our chairs on the beach sent us off on an expedition. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Rest is Silence. By John von Daler

                         #Silence is the sea in which musicians swim. Ask Carl Nielsen or Mozart for that matter. They will tell you how important the rests, the pauses are in forming the music.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Deus ex Machina. By John von Daler

                "I just want to help you gain some kind of credibility," he said, and pushed open the door to the little health food cafe. Trying not to strife his outstretched right arm with her bare back, she stepped in front of him and turned around in midstep to look at him over her shoulder. Then she moved out onto the first of three steps that led down to the sidewalk.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Food for Thought. By John von Daler

                   You put the green beans in plenty of water together with some smoked and salted bacon. Then you boil the combination for exactly twenty-four hours. At the end of the day the beans look like twisted licorice sticks and taste like salted leather. You throw away the water they were boiled in; it looks like the great, grey-green, greasy Limpopo River. You eat the beans, as they say, because they are good for you.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Opulence in #Bornholm. By John von Daler

                  It was quarter past one. We had played our last encore in the little, packed music club in Gudhjem on the island of Bornholm. The audience had gone out into the quiet streets talking and singing, a little drunk I suppose. We packed our instruments in their cases and drank a beer in the little dressing room with its autographed posters of other performers who had played on the miniature stage.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A #Robot Blog. By John von Daler

                  I should round twenty thousand "hits" on my blog today. Excuse the slightly violent language, but blogging does lead one down strange and dangerous byways. Those twenty thousand "visits" probably have included somewhere between fifteen hundred and two thousand robots, the so-called web-crawlers. I am told that I should do anything and everything to repell these mechanical creatures as they mischieviously crawl their way around the internet.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Little Dance Macabre. By John von Daler

                    An acquaintance once admitted that her evaluation of famous people included a category (perhaps akin to the top classification of the various Alps and Pyrenees in the Tour de France: "Beyond Classification" meaning out of reach, too great, limitless) that included very few people, all of whom were so noteworthy, that she had decided in her imagination - and with all her greatest respect - to have them stuffed after their deaths by the finest of taxidermists and stood up at appropriate spots in her home.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Word about #Words. By John von Daler

                 Would you think it strange for me to assert that one cannot always speak to people with words? Not words that really mean anything, at any rate. Some people do not communicate or understand via words, so when you try to say something to them they only eye you suspiciously:

                I got up from the computer in my office and went into our bedroom to stretch myself at the window. Years of violin playing have taught me that I have to keep opposites equal: too much left side and not enough right side is bad, just as too much sitting needs to be rectified by some bending in the reverse. So I stood at the window doing slanted push-ups with my hands on the sill and my legs stretched out behind.                 

                Standing at the window had always been a pastime of mine during my breaks. Across the street there was a school for children with Down syndrome. I used to watch them play; they were always so sweet with each other and rarely cried. A kind of pleasant, bubbly sound rose from their playground.
                Today their recess did not fit mine. Everything was quiet at the school. But at a neighboring building I noticed some young boys (not from the school!), thirteen or fourteen years-old, nonchalantly casing the basement windows. They would wander by taking sidelong glances and then they would sit down on a stoop on the opposite side of the street and talk. It was fairly obvious that they were thinking about breaking in, our street being almost deserted at this moment. But it is hard to call the police and say, Hey, someone looks like they might want to break into the building across the street.
                I do not know what got a hold of me, but I ran out our door and down the stairs to the street and sauntered over to the biggest of them. He was about fourteen, taller them me and heavy set. I approached him, looked him in the eye and said, "Don't start your life off by making a big mistake. Don't ruin your future by doing something stupid now."
                I should probably not have used words to communicate with him. He looked like I had just had implied that men from Mars would be landing on our street. I gave him a few seconds in which to respond and then abruptly some kind of fear swelled up inside me and I turned around and walked - quickly - past my own house and down our street, so as not to attract reprisals to our building.
                Later the police did in fact come. The boys had made a burglary attempt. Here, I think, words failed me too: my descriptions of them were probably too lousy and too general.
                I still wonder what impetus pushed me toward that little confrontation. It was no conscious thought, but rather some kind of feeling of duty toward mankind in general. Why I in fact would enter the situation with unconscious fear in my stomach I do not know. I just hope that the kid, when he, four other thieves and a "fence" were finished divvying up the proceeds from one stolen, used computer, had just a second in which he thought, What a stupid thing to do... But I think words probably failed him at that moment too, as they probably still and will do from now on.               
                How do you in fact talk with the wordless?

                My book #Pieces: A Life in Eight Movements and a Prelude (#WiDo Publishing) has received seven five star reviews and one one star review. But to get the sales moving I need many more reviews. 
                If you are interested in music, violin playing, free will, and storytelling, then you probably would like reading the book.
                Please contact me through google + (John von Daler) if you would like to read "Pieces" and to review it. Or buy it yourself at or your bookstore or at CeleryTree.



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