Friday, February 1, 2008

February Blows In!

The month of February started off with a snowstorm. I think we were luckier than some people but it was still pretty messy and labour intensive. I woke up nice and early, had my breakfast and then wrapped myself up in my winter gear and headed out to tackle the driveway. I used to love the exercise and being outside in the brisk cold but after an exhausting two hours decided that this might be the year for a snowblower!
While I was outside, I remembered a radio program I had heard a few days ago on the CBC. My ears perked at the mention of Hildegard von Bingen. I first came across her name in a music appreciation class my first year of university. She has so many claims to fame but the important one for my class was that she was the first composer to have an extant biography. We listened to the music which is monophonic--one melodic line characterised by a soaring soprano. What an amazing woman she was for the time, 1098-1179, the medieval period.
On a trip to Europe with my family, my sister once referred to me as the human encyclopedia. I love trivia and have a mind filled with interesting tidbits of knowledge. Everywhere we went I had something to say, almost always annoying my siblings but arousing curiosity in my mother as to how I could know so many things! (this is not to toot my own horn, I'm just stating a fact) Driving in the car, some music of Hildegard's came on. Before I could open my mouth my father brought up her name with a short bio on her. "You know about Hildegard of Bingen?" I cried in surprise. I think that was the first time that I realized who I got the fact-finding gene from and how smart my father was. He also read avidly and loved interesting factoids such as knowing of medieval abbesses who were also composers and wrote on the subjects of medicine and botany. He had purchased a book about her and I found it when we went through my father's books after he passed away. We so often take each other for granted that we sometimes think we know everything about a person. How lucky are we then, when little gems like this come up out of the blue?


Ellen said...

I like your blog! Now that I've taken music appreciation, I too can appreciate Hildegarde! I would like to see that book daddy bought too! Talk to you later. Write something everyday!