Lurking in the dark corner of the far left tabs
on my computer, for two weeks now,
Concerto for flute, no. 1 in G-Major, K. 313 (1778)
By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and performed
By the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.
I imagine that Mozart and the ISO have
Survived so much. An Iceland orchestra must
Be composed of hardy creatures, impervious to
Cold, dark — Or is permanently lit? I forget.– winters
And barren landscapes that cry out
For a Mozart concerto to bring warmth and brighten
life and the endless day — or is it the night?
The soloist is Hallfríður Ólafsdóttir, she of
Rich and full-bodied embouchure and lilting fingers and
Doomed to cringe each time she is asked,
“How do you spell that name?”
So Mozart and Iceland’s finest have survived
On a tab when dozens of others have come and gone
By accident or design. I count 25 tabs open just now,
Many for reasons that escape me.
So on a perfect San Miguel Sunday morning,
Mozart and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra
Are being set free as I sit on the terrace
Caressing fresh blueberry muffins and sipping
My third cup of coffee while church bells call
The secret faithful who slip in by the side door
To worship at a distance like in some
Hallowed speakeasy, gambling with their lives,
Rolling their souls like dice.
But how can I complain when it is church bells
That accent this benign canvas before me?
Even the rooftop dogs yield their angry chorus
To the church bells and Mozart and the songbirds.
Yes, the songbirds. Allegro ma non troppo choruses,
Urgent and lyrical searches for mates
From deep inside these thick leafy trees.
Were they always here?
No, they arrived with the absence of loud cars
And belching trucks downshifting on the Liberamente,
And the quieted cacophonous concerto of a living city.
This becalming has allowed the hidden grace
Of this city to shine forth once more.
During Mozart’s spaces and contemplative pauses
The birds exert their songs into this mindscape.
Some voices are fresh to these ears. Some, like the cooing doves,
And abrasive old crow, are old friends from the treetops.
The absence of cars,
No longer kicking up dust on cobblestone roads like
mustangs running wild across the plains,
Enables the flowers to shimmer more brilliantly
Than I can recall.
Such deep reds, ambers, purples, blues!
Even bushes of white blossoms are not cloaked in
the powdery beige of street dust.
Mozart has ended — but before the Iceland Symphony
Can bow, embrace bouquets, and give its goodbyes,
I hit repeat. In dire need of an encore,
Grateful for their sublime offering from 2015.
I join their 4.3K ‘thumbs up’ and 644,346 listeners
To which I am now 644,348 and 644,347.
Hallfríður Ólafsdóttir’s flute fills me with gratitude
On this Sunday morning for the missing cars,
The furtive church bells, the harmonizing songbirds,
The neon-pitched flora, a Rose that glows brightest of all,
The third cup of coffee, the homemade blueberry muffins
The fresh glorious morning air with its shy, cool breeze
— and I ask myself,
Isn’t this just enough?