Thursday, March 22, 2012
Perfect Memories: Pachebel in London
I was a teenager, which meant my skills at preserving or treasuring moments were getting better, but still not fully developed. It was warm, but not too warm, in that way that London summers are so much better than Virginia summers. Warm, but not drowning air. We'd been walking around all day, museums and blue plaques and such. Used bookstores. An ice cream cone with flake. The sun was at mid-afternoon slant and not too obtrusive. Mom and I had wended our way through Covent Garden - stopping at Lush for Mom, at Pollock's Toy Shop for me - and we were strolling the second level, when we heard the strings start. We leaned over the railing and looked down into the courtyard below. There were little cafe tables set here and there, each occupied. And there, just under the bridge of the second level, was a string quartet, playing Pachebel's Canon in D. I don' think I knew the name of the piece at the time. Without a word or look of decision, we stayed there, pressed against the metal rail, watching from above, as the melody repeated and repeated, growing in complication, caressed by the quartet. When they finished, we stepped back and continued walking.