the year of the lamb

okay so i moved into this apartment like 4 years ago and there’s this kid who lives a floor below me who started learning the piano just around the time i moved in and the thing with apartments is that you can Hear Everything so i’ve spent goddamned years listening to this kid stumble on the piano and play off-key but just now as i was about to go to sleep i heard them play the entirety of can you feel the love tonight without any bumps or missteps and it was fucking awesome, and i don’t know this kid and i’ve never even seen them before but i’m so proud of them and it’s awesome how i’ve somehow managed to hear this kid’s journey into playing the piano for the past 4 years of my life. i hope they are doing well. i cant wait for more mini-concerts at 9 pm

“It’s like, I’m the only one that has to make five million comebacks, but everybody else it’s just like ‘Oh, you did some little thing and then you stripped and you’re fine, you’re great,’  but for me there’s different rules, I don’t know why. I don’t know why, it’s not okay that I was just like, victimized and vilified by the situation.“ -Mariah Carey on the aftermath of her New Year’s Eve performance. [x]

Berena and musical foreshadowing: the possible significance of the use of the Allegro from Spring in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in S18E32 and subsequent parallels with the Berena storyline and the opera ‘Dorilla in Tempe’ aka the random ponderings of a musician with an interest in musical symbolism who is way too emotionally invested in fictional lesbian medics

A year on from the first on-screen appearance of Berena, and the slow-burn romance of surgeons Serena Campbell and Bernie Wolfe has seen a rollercoaster of emotions and dramatic storyline developments. Revisiting ‘Running Out’ (Series 18, Episode 32), the episode where Serena and Bernie agree to co-lead AAU (and therefore establishing a closer on-screen relationship between the two characters), I was intrigued by significance of the use of the short excerpt from the Allegro from the Spring section of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as part of Bernie’s ‘in case of emergencies’ gift to Serena. On further consideration, it is possible to suggest that this short excerpt possibly foreshadows key events from the Berena storyline up to the present moment.

It is possible of course to read the use of ‘spring’ in a more generic way of being symbolic of a new beginning/growth between the two characters, but deeper consideration of subsequent uses of themes from Spring by Vivaldi reveals some interesting parallels with the direction of the Berena plotline. The the Allegro in question was later rescored by Vivaldi as part of the musical score for an opera titled ‘Dorilla in Tempe’, which premiered in 1726 (4:09 from this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfSImeA_bOM). An examination of some of the themes and characters of the opera presents some really interesting parallels with the on-going lambs/lions/shepherds metaphor established since ‘Of Lions and Lambs’ (Series 19, Episode 17).

A brief summary of the plot from Dorilla in Tempe:

“The story takes place in Tempe. Like the music, the plot intertwines pastoral and heroic elements and centres on the shepherd Nomio, who is in fact Apollo in disguise. Nomio falls in love with Dorilla, the daughter of Admeto, King of Thessaly, who is herself in love with the shepherd Elmiro. Admeto is forced by the gods to save his kingdom by offering his daughter as a sacrifice to the sea-serpent Pitone, but she is rescued just in time by Nomio. Nomio claims the hand of Dorilla as his reward, but she remains reluctant and escapes with Elmiro. The pair are captured, and Elmiro is sentenced to death. Finally, however, the intervention of Nomio, revealing his divine identity, saves the situation and Dorilla and Elmiro are reunited.”

Some observations:

1.Firstly, the character of Dorilla is of royal bloodline, and there is a well-established tradition in heraldry and the arts of royalty being represented by the lion (the metaphorical personality type that Serena represents).

2.   Dorilla is in love with Elmiro, a shepherd (the metaphorical type ascribed to Bernie). What is interesting is that the role of Elmiro is deliberately written for soprano voice (a ‘breeches’ role in opera, whereby a female singer would portray a male character), and Elmiro was originally performed by Maria Maddalena Pieri to Angela Capuano’s Dorilla in the premier performance. Although intended in the original storyline to be a male/female relationship, the idea of two females, one a ‘shepherd’, the other a ‘lion’, represented in a romantic performance against the themes of death, adversity and struggle is certainly more than reminiscent of Serena and Bernie.

3.   A daughter figure is offered as a sacrifice, and a death sentence is placed upon Elmiro. The Holby version of events deviates slightly from this, but Elinor’s death could be suggested to be a variation upon the themes suggested by this plotline. Another reading of the death sentence/sacrificial themes could refer to the punishing mentoring of Jasmine (the sacrificial lamb) who is pushed to breaking point by a grieving Serena- signposted by the ‘even if it kills them’ quote from the end of S19E17.

4.   The character of Nomio (who is revealed to be none other than the Greek god Apollo) saves the situation and reunites lovers Dorilla and Elmiro. It is possible to suggest that ‘Nomio/Apollo’ is somehow broadly representative of the interventions of different characters from the Holby cast, including Bernie and Morven, however given the superiority of Apollo as a mythical figure, this could possibly be seen to imply that Hanssen (the most superior figure at Holby and therefore established in a godlike/omnipotent metaphor) is ultimately involved with a form of intervention that sees the restoration of stability to Serena and Bernie and a happy ending for Berena, despite the dark and turbulent times that they face along the way.

Of course, all of this is mere speculation and not grounded in any solid facts/knowledge of Holby script writing, but it is interesting to see how certain parallels can be shown between the plotline of the opera and the current developments in the Berena storyline. The significance of the Vivaldi Four Seasons soundbite from Bernie’s gift appears at the beginning of a closer relationship between Serena and Bernie (it is after all in this episode that Serena learns of Bernie’s intentions to ‘have her back’ when placed on supervisory duty, and then declares them to be equals and suggests to Hanssen that they both co-lead AAU). The same piece of music also establishes the opening scenes of the opera (which, as shown above, appears to bear some similarities to the direction of the Holby Berena storyline).

The sound excerpt from the Allegro is heard twice in the episode and also appears twice in the opera score: once in the sinfonia (before the opera story commences, and, in parallel, before Serena approaches Hanssen with the suggestion of co-leading AAU) and again in the opening chorus of the opera (Serena and Bernie celebrating at Albie’s and preparing to work together as co-leads, which is the start or ‘opening chorus’ of their closer working relationship together, which preludes their romance).

If the Holby storyline is to follow in the vague direction of the opera plot, then it is possible to tentatively suggest that a) there will be an intervention staged of some sort and b) that although Berena will face dark times, ultimately they will end up reunited and together.

Any thoughts? I’d love to know what other people think about this :) 

I may have gone completely barmy, but as a musician, this possible plot parallel is too good to ignore!


5

A little vision of the sight at the end..

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Today, I slept in until noon and cuddled with my little puppy only leaving when I decided I needed some tea. As the kettle boiled, I came back and just watched the silence of my room, the dust dancing in the curtain light.

It’s not always going to be this way. A day is coming when I will share my tiny bed with more than a furry friend, when someone else might might make me coffee by mistake, or when I’ll have little grabby hands pointing out the window telling me winter is here. It could happen in six weeks, five months, or eight years and that scares me. But only for the selfish reason of not wanting to be responsible for anothers heart, sometimes I want lazy Wednesday mornings.

But here’s the hope: Maybe my future will wake up at nine to go to work and not even attempt to stir me. They will know I was up all night writing again, my inky hands are bad liars. They will make the green tea in silence and leave it on the nightstand like a forehead kiss. Maybe my babies will inherit the need for snuggles and good morning stories. Maybe they might even sleep later than me.

My bed will not always be a solo sanctuary and I am learning to see the promise in that. Because in the end, what is a church without disciples?

10

Actors I love and the movie/tv show that made me love them.

Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs.

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The horses are coming
   So you better run~

(click for full view)

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4

I guess I felt as if I betrayed Jeff, as well, when he asked me one day, “Dad how come your book didn’t have more of the happy things we did together?” He was referring to the two years of 4H we shared raising lambs, building fences for them, planting gardens, hiking in metropolitan parks, sharing science fair plans, etc. My weak reply was that the book was intended to show a limited focus, a spiraling downward.

Jeff said “it sure did that alright.

- From A Father’s Story by Lionel Dahmer