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The book of love

5.03.2008

My small group traveled to the beach yesterday and it was wonderful.  Being near the beach and the water is so healing.  We laughed, ate, watched movies, took walks and best of all: played an old player piano.  My family had a large black player piano and a cupboard full of rolls.  Each roll has a different song that you put inside the piano and you pump two pedals to make it play.  The keys move all on their own and it is so loud that you all have to scream the lyrics printed on the side in order to hear yourself.  My family sold ours because my parents are moving.  I'm not handling it well at all.

Playing the piano at the beach was so fun and yet made me horribly homesick.  We didn't use ours very often, just on special occasions and when my sister would be home.  My favorite was when she'd sit down and begin to play "Send in the Clowns" as I sang along.  My parents offered me the piano, but we all knew there was no where I could put it, much less move it.  So recently I came home and it was gone.  While I sit here crying alone in my apartment I think of how easy it should be for us to move from our home.  How little I should care where my parents live as long as I can spend time with them.  But these possessions that we are supposed to not cherish or hold onto, like houses and player pianos, represent so much history and memory and just presence in one's life.  Memories and histories that are harder to recall or relive in the absence of their setting and participants.

This morning we watched Shall We Dance (2004).  I had sort of low expectations for it, and sure enough it wasn't amazing.  Basically Susan Sarandon carries the whole thing even though she is in just a few scenes.  She is in the two best scenes, however.  The one where she explains why people get married:

"We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet... I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'."

And when Peter Gabriel sings "Book of Love."  Incredible lyrics:

The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing
It's full of charts and facts and figures and instructions for dancing
But I, I love it when you read to me
And you, you can read me anything
The book of love has music in it
In fact that's where music comes from
Some of it is just transcendental
Some of it is just really dumb
But I, I love it when you sing to me
And you, you can sing me anything
The book of love is long and boring
And written very long ago
It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes
And things we're all too young to know
But I, I love it when you give me things
And you, you ought to give me wedding rings
And I, I love it when you give me things
And you, you ought to give me wedding rings
And I, I love it when you give me things
And you, you ought to give me wedding rings
You ought to give me wedding rings

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