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A Year
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Grey's Anatomy Rescue's the Holidays

Grey's Anatomy Rescue's the Holidays

Selected Composition

 

All Thieves, "Turn and Turn Again"

 

 

Program Notes

 

The holidays are over. Thank God. Once I could not wait for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, but now they are just mileposts in The Season of Sorrows, that is: those days that begin for me on October 8, my dead partner's birthday, then go on through birthday after birthday of people I loved who are dead, and death date after death date, and in the middle of all this come the holidays. I know I am supposed to be happy, somehow, and there were happy times this year: dinner at my sister's on Christmas Eve, movies with a friend, but then it was home again to my quiet house with its empty chairs.

 

I read an article in the New York Times written for people who might be alone during the holidays. It suggested various coping strategies, including eating comfort foods, buying gifts for oneself (and unwrapping them Christmas morning), and watching lots and lots of the television show Grey's Anatomy. I had never watched Grey's Anatomy, so I did a little research on it. 

 

It is in its thirteenth season. Let me repeat that: thirteenth season. How many shows last that long? I took thirteen seasons as a sign that this medical drama must be worth watching. Plus, it stars Sandra Oh. I love Sandra Oh. So I bought season 1 on iTunes and settled in. I'm in season 5 now. It was, as the Times promised, good company for the holidays.

 

The episode "No Good at Saying Sorry (One More Chance)" features the song "Turn and Turn Again," by Mina Naghavi, and her group All Thieves. It is not easy to find that song. There is no Webpage for the group; the song is not available on iTunes or at Amazon.com. It turns out that Mina is an Iranian living in Canada. I do not know why her music is not more widely available, or what pressures have been brought to bear on her—but this song is lovely, both the music of it and the lyrics. "We've done it again," she sings: "this trick we have of turning love to pain and peace to war."

 

I hope Mina is all right, and I hope that if it is what she wants that she can find a way to keep writing songs and singing them. I want to hear them.

 

If you have been following my blog, you know that I hesitate to post links to songs without paying for them. I believe that artists deserve to be paid for their work, and I have no desire to be a thief: but I can discover no way to pay Mina for this song. It is, of course, available on the Internet. I will post a link to it on Mina's page on SoundCloud, in the hopes that she authorized uploading it there for people to hear. One of the comments on SoundCloud about this song reads: "This is what real artists sound like." I couldn't agree more.

 

All Thieves, "Turn and Turn Again"

 

 

 

 

I created "By Turning, Turning We Come 'Round Right," the image above, in 2006. It is based on Mandelbrot fractals. The title is from Joseph Brackett's Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts":

 

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right, 
  'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gain'd, 
  To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight, 
  Till by turning, turning we come 'round right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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