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Last night I made homemade pizza for my kids.
It isn’t as impressive as it sounds. I make this crust and use whatever cheese and toppings that happen to be languishing in the refrigerator. Not counting the rising time for the dough, I can have it in the oven in less time than it takes to drive to Publix and buy a frozen pizza.
While I was crafting our pizza, I had Nessun Dorma from the February playlist on in the background. The synergy of Italian music and Italian(ish) food made me very happy, and it caused me think about how music can really serve as the soundtrack to your everyday life. It can anchor you in a sense of place and history. These are intangibles that are difficult to articulate to your kids (and you don’t need to, really), but I felt our home had an added layer of beauty and history last night, simply by adding great music to the background of what we were already doing.
(And just to keep it real: my teenager loudly yelled, Can we please turn that down? And I loudly yelled back, It’s Puccini! It cannot be listened to softly!)
If you have never listened to Puccini’s Nessun Dorma, it really is one of the greatest melodies ever composed. It’s an aria (AKA: big, fancy solo) from his opera Tunandot, made famous by Luciano Pavarotti. Check it:
If operatic singing isn’t your thing, try the instrumental version here. And please disregard the unrelated space imagery:
I can’t explain it, but the moment at 2:40 in the Pavarotti version sounds like an actual birth to me. Or a glorious flower opening. Or something. It’s a crazy piece of writing — Puccini makes you feel a physical longing for the moment when the song peaks. It’s genius. (By the way, you have to listen to the whole thing for 2:40 to make sense. It’s just like in life – you have to feel the longing for the payoff to feel complete.)
These thoughts, by the way, are not ones kids will ever synthesize. I know because one time I tried to explain 2:40 to a group of five-year-olds. One of them looked up at me and said, “Mrs. Hill, it seems like you really like this music.”
Some moments can’t be taught – they have to just be felt.
I love the Olympics. Like, I LOVE the Olympics. I go on lockdown for two weeks every two years and do nothing but live in deep angst for these people who have given the whole of their whole lives to the very moment I am watching from my sofa. The Opening Ceremonies for the 2018 Winter Games take place one year from today. I was texting with a friend last night planning our party. I can’t wait.
In 2006, Shizuka Arakawa skated to Nessun Dorma when she won her gold medal. Italian music in front of an Italian crowd in Torino. Smart girl:
Enjoy this epic piece of songwriting.
Make some pizza. (Or throw a frozen one in the oven.)
Watch some figure skating.
Add some beauty to your everyday, today.