Stephanie at the Library Plays Her Harp and Mimics Gertrude Stein

This is what my harp looks like. My husband made it for me from a kit - for my birthday. He signed the inside of it, and the date says 2004. By my next birthday this coming July, I should have been playing the harp for six years, then. But I learned a bit, slacked off a bit, put it down mostly, and now I can only remember a little bit of what I knew ... and I love this instrument, but I don't actually play it.

I mean, it's a hand made harp, right? It's gorgeous. It sounds lovely. The Great Husband has made me a bookcase, a platform for raising the washer and dryer off the floor for convenience, and a harp - other things too, of course, but those are the biggies. And the only things I use are the bookcase and the washer and dryer? What is wrong with me? Laziness. That's what. I just haven't been disciplined enough to keep up with it. But now it's caught up to me.

After dinner last night, the phone rang. A woman in our community has organized an after school program, and sometimes they get local musicians to bring in their instruments and talk about the instrument and how it works, and play a little. Somehow, this woman who once bought hay from us for her goats knew I have this harp. (How did she know?) And so she called. And we nailed down a date, despite the fact that I told her that any claim I might make that I can "play" the harp would be such an exaggeration that it would be a lie. "Can you play a scale?" she asked. "Well, yes. I can do that." "Well, that's good enough," she said. "We just want you to talk about the instrument and show us how it works."

Well, what can I say? The pull of a multi-age group of kids was too strong. I'd don another clown suit for the chance to work with those kids, and you know how I feel about clown suits. So I said yes. And we nailed down a date. (So now I have a few weeks to practice!) And I told her that I had to do that - nail down the date - because otherwise I'll get a call from the library, and since I'm a sub, I never know when that might happen. "Oh!" she said. "You're Stephanie at the library?"

I've been a lot of things in my life, but no one's ever called me Stephanie at the Library before. I think I can wear this one with pinache. Kinda like it, actually ... "Stephanie at the Library." It makes me want to write poetry - which I tried yesterday - for an assignment for Modern Lit - in the style of Gertrude Stein. Wanna see?

Torn Page From a Calendar
Is resting side to diagonal while for interest. Of passing to pass and not of waiting is liturgical of purple. If the whiting minder lilac knees breath breathing lilac breathing smoke. For passing comes. Square of under past cement.
To pass. Red of circles. Oh the square to pass red circles to cement. And breathing cut. Corner. Came and passing come. Windshield grit of passing comes to passing of the window. Of the curtains. Close the passing. And the torn. Settle passing.

Here's Stein reading Stein - with the bizarre visuals in this video, so you know where I was headed. This sort of thing is ... um ... an acquired taste, shall we say?

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