Journal Entry: Florence Is an Italian City

But millions of people in America’s mid-Atlantic will forever think of her first and foremost as a hurricane, of course. “Aren’t you glad you came down in July?” went my sister’s text at a moment when she was still paying close attention to weather and assessing the threat to her South Carolina home, considering staying … Continue reading Journal Entry: Florence Is an Italian City

Journal Entry: The Earth Grows Restless and Begins to Shift

And the days grow notably shorter. It had to happen eventually, I suppose. But the poison parsnip is dead, and good riddance to it. “I don’t suppose your leaves have started turning yet,” mused my dad at the other end of a cell phone connection about a week ago. “No,” I said, “but just last … Continue reading Journal Entry: The Earth Grows Restless and Begins to Shift

Tail of the Dog, in Which Warden Prepares to Play the Wrong Piano Concerto

In 1999 the Portuguese virtuosa Maria Joao Pires famously sat at the piano with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, conductor Riccardo Chailly  at the podium, awaiting the first bar of the piano concerto she expected to play for this lunchtime concert. Imagine her surprise when the orchestra began playing a different piece of music—the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor—instead … Continue reading Tail of the Dog, in Which Warden Prepares to Play the Wrong Piano Concerto