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.
Here’s a newsletter I just received from an Arizona realtor. Given the difficulties and heartbreak of this year, and the challenges we’ve had to face with our personal losses, I found it an interesting read.
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.)
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!
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.
Allí, metidos en el bolsillo de la bata de Patrick que colgaba del armario de Ivonne en el casco antiguo de Palma de Mallorca, la isla que tanto amaba, estaban sus tirantes.
Me asaltaron los recuerdos: su pulcritud, la dignidad y la elegancia con que llevaba su edad.
Surgieron otros recuerdos: empaquetar, distribuir lo que sus amigos y familia querían, las cosas que había que donar; mandar zapatos a una hermana, camisas a la otra, jerséis a ambas; entregarle a Ivonne la bata que contenía aquellos tirantes.
Alojado en casa de Ivonne, me puse la bata un momento y en el bolsillo descubrí unos pañuelos viejos y… aquellos tirantes de una elegancia imperecedera.
Ayer éramos ocho los que nos reunimos en el restaurante Basmati para almorzar. Shahin, el dueño, se unió a nosotros para honrar a mi padre con tristeza y alegría, y con una comida espléndida. Éramos ocho: Carl y Antoinette, Suzy, Ivonne, Hannah, Carol, Nicole y yo.
Concert in memory of Patrick Meadows: Kremlin Strings. Conductor: Misha Rachlevsky. Repertoire: Works by Schubert, Schoenberg, Schnauber and Tchaikovsky. Location: Son Marroig. Date: September 13.
(Translation by Nicole)
An elegy (Tchaikovsky) and a tango (Piazzola) crowned Misha Rachlevsky’s return to the Deià Festival in what turned out to be a very special evening in memory of Patrick Meadows – creator of the Festival – who passed away a few months ago. The truth is we missed a sign of affection such as this event, whose main instigators were the pianist Susan Bradbury and John Patrick, Meadow’s son. Continue reading “Concert Review from El Mundo”
There, wadded up in the pocket of Patrick’s bathrobe, hanging in Ivonne’s closet, in the Old Town, on the island he so loved, were his suspenders.
Memories surfaced: His dapper look, bearing his age with dignity and class.
New memories emerged: Packing the boxes, sorting out the things people wanted, the things to donate; sending shoes to one sister, shirts to another, sweaters to both; delivering to Ivonne the robe and that set of braces. Continue reading “Yesterday We Were Eight”