Our Lives, Like Birds

Our lives are like birds.

Sometimes they fly together, sometimes one is above the other, or below, but ultimately every bird falls from the sky.

And yet, we somehow still see them, always flying, even after they disappear.

When they don’t return, we can only hope that they’ve just flown away.

(inspired by a conversation with Ivonne on 13 Sep ’17)

Certified Letter

Here’s a short autobiographical story by Patrick. The file is dated 12 March 2014.

In our little village here in the mountains, there is a post office still. There are two employees, one for sorting incoming mail and preparing outgoing mail, and one for attending customers, who are few. The office is open only in the morning from eight o’clock until ten-thirty, except Saturday when they stay open until eleven.

After they close, both employees begin the rounds delivering the mail. If there is a certified letter or a package that won’t fit in your mailbox, they leave a yellow notice showing in the slot, half in half out of the box. I suppose that is because nowadays when almost everyone has e-mail there is so seldom any mail you might not check. Continue reading “Certified Letter”

The Ballad of the Glonk

The Ballad of the Glonk

In honor of my new status as a grandfather to baby Max, it is time to post

The Ballad of the Glonk

which is a children’s book that Patrick wrote in the 1960s, illustrated by Dan Christoffel. He told me he’d tried to get it published, but the editors of the day didn’t want stories of a single mother protecting her children without having a man coming in to rescue her. Continue reading “The Ballad of the Glonk”

Ringed by Fire and Smoke

Huge flames flicker along the ridges to the north and west of my house. In truth they are probably 10 miles away, but they are bright enough and broad enough, and the winds fierce enough, that I ponder my evacuation plan should the need arise.

I look closely at the distant fires, then climb into the truck in search of dinner with a friend from Alabama who is visiting here on business.

When I return, I decide it’s time to prepare, just in case…. not expecting to flee, but fearing the loss of those remaining bits of Patrick that I hold.

It takes about three hours, three hours to distill into a small collection the things I hold dear. It’s telling, these things I gathered up, Continue reading “Ringed by Fire and Smoke”

The Taxi

In memory and praise of Patrick’s refined sense of humour, I am sharing one of his numerous stories, worthy of the fabulous wise fool, Mulla Nasruddin, as told by himself at Carl & Antoinette’s place in Deià, last year. (N. d’A.)

The Taxi

Thursday evening, I was invited to supper in Deià and I drank so much wine I couldn’t drive home to Valldemossa so I took a taxi.

Next morning I couldn’t work out what the taxi was doing in my garage!

Concert review (English)

Published in Ultima Hora, 14 Sep 2017

PATRICK

by Emili Gené Vila

(English translation by Nicole.)

Concert review from Ultima Hora newspaper

I remember him playing the double bass or an organ, conducting a chamber orchestra he himself had created, conducting a choir, or directing the Music Festival, a miracle that remains very much alive, eager to recall the enthusiasm with which Patrick turned Deià into a musical world reference. There were moving speeches to remember Patrick Meadows (Susanne Bradbury, an old friend of those heroic and wonderful times, was unable to finish her reading). There were his son, his friends, the owners of Son Marroig, the conductor Misha Rachelevsky — and Stephanie Shepard, present as always. It was an extraordinary concert, outside the original program of the Festival, that served to bid farewell to Patrick with the sadness of the loss (Schnauber’s piece and the elegy in the encore), but also with the elusive joy of music. The Kremlin Chamber Orchestra interpreted some of Patrick’s favourite pieces. In the first half we heard a transfigured Night that lifted the spirit of everyone present. Memorable, as was Tchaikovsky’s Serenade: two pieces that lead the orchestra to its full expression — a young orchestra that sounded as though it was composed only of masters. The concert was excellent in every way: precision, style, pure rhythm and vitality, as well as dynamic, subtle and conclusive in Piazzola’s Libertango — the conductor’s last present to us in the second encore. Vigour and enthusiasm: I can’t think of a better setting to pay tribute to that restless pioneer we all owe so much to.