Arts on the Horizon

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It’s Springtime

     Yes, Spring started a couple of weeks ago and summer is closing in.  The temperature is not down in the 50’s any longer, and it doesn’t rain.  Ponds that will be fed by the runoff from summer rains are still slowly decreasing in square footage. The number of turtles per pond may be staying the same, but their social distancing space allotment is shrinking – good thing that turtles are not susceptible to COVID-19. 

If you’ve washed your car recently, you must be pleased that it does not turn yellow as it did in the last two months.  Although Mother Nature is not washing your car, she is letting up on the pollen count. Yes, Spring and early Summer are blissful, so we should take advantage of this time of year while it lasts. 

     One thing many of us can do is take a walk around the outside of our home. Some flowers are in bloom, and the sky is mostly blue. If not blue, then blue with puffy white clouds, which is even better. 

   How well we can walk around is, of course, subject to the kind of home we have and when it was built. Older homes are best, as they sit in the center of a lot and there is plenty of walk-around space.

   The “McMansions” built during the run-up to the housing crisis are a bit more problematic, as they tend to be constructed from lot-line to lot-line. It makes it hard to tip-toe through the tulips when there is no room to plant tulips! 

   The biggest problem of all is for those lucky ones in high-rise condominiums with a view of Sarasota Bay.  While views of the sailboats are great from the 10th – 18th floors, it does get a bit crowded at ground level when everyone wants to go outside for a walk at the same time. And how many people do you want in the elevator with you as you descend/ascend to/from your walk? Surely each condo board can set up a schedule and spacing plan so that each unit can have their time in the sun without being overly crowded. Of interest to all will be how the owners of units in Condo A interact with unit owners from Condo B when their two groups overlap. Surely, there will be many interesting stories on our individual smart phone media feeds. 


     When some doors close, others may open. That is the case here in Sarasota. Yes, our theatre companies, opera, ballet, orchestra, dance companies, circuses, choral groups, museums, etc., have shut their doors for the rest of the season. This was not just cutting off the last performance of a series of six, but, in some cases, the entire run. All the work and nothing to be shown. 

   Many productions were planned, diagramed, rights acquired, rehearsed, adverts purchased, halls rented and ready – and all for naught…or so it seems. Hopefully, Tourist Board dollars and the dollars from the pockets of many of our local residents will flow to these groups so they can get off the floor and onto their feet. They need our support. Not just so they can entertain us later, but so they can be made somewhat whole.  They should be reimbursed for all of their efforts, even though we did not, ourselves, receive any immediate pleasure from what they’d done or attempted to do.   When next season arrives, we hope that they will have not just our financial backing so that they may be able to continue, but will know they have our blessings, in whatever forms they make take, so that they may wish to continue.

     OK, doors have been closed, but what ones have been opened? Over the years, while our local arts organizations have been providing us with our lifeline to a richer life, other communities have been doing the same. And some have been saving those offerings to offer to us in our fallow times.

   Do you like Mahler? One of the most sublime Mahleresque experiences is to go to If you click on “TV Schedule”, you will find what they present every hour of every day. Take them up on a free trial and watch what is available. In their archives, you will find A Tribute to Mahler with the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Claudio Abado in 2011 (he passed in 2014).  A most sublime experience awaits watching and listening to the Adagio from Mahler’s Symphony No. 10. 

   Also, on the program are six poems set to music and sung by Jonas Kaufmann and Anna Sofie von Otter. The last song, Abschied (Farewell), is exquisite.  And, wonder of wonders, there are hundreds of other concerts available on this streaming service.

Don’t feel blue, celebrate

     It’s funny how some holidays float around like boats at high tide.  For example, Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Try explaining that to a four-year-old.  One very religious holiday with a fixed date that is celebrated by 21-year-olds and above all over the world is Cinco de Mayo. One question many are asking is how well will Corona beer do this year? Hard to clink bottles from 6 feet away.

     Another floating date that seems to be everyone’s favorite is Mother’s Day. The second Sunday in May falls on the 10th this year, so it’s time to start remembering your mom.  Also, if you have a female partner and she has had a child, remember her.  If you are a single mother, celebrate yourself – you have a hard job. Hopefully, there’s time to get a present, a card, and reserve a time slot to pick up her favorite carry-out food. Whether you consume it at her place or yours, the big benefit is that there will be no pots or pans to wash. Unfortunately, while saving on water, you’re overburdening the local landfill. 

     Armed Forces Day floats in on the third Saturday of the month and has been floating in this manner for 70 years. In 1950, the separate celebrations for each of the armed services were consolidated to this day. There have been many heroes since the days of the revolutionary army, but we are not celebrating them. The ones we are saluting may not even be “heroes” in the accepted sense of the word, but we are celebrating their commitment to service, and without them we would be in deep, deep trouble. They are the living, still serving, men and women of today’s armed forces. While some are true heroes, our armed forces would not properly function in protecting us without all of them. They serve in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and in many other places so we don’t have such conflicts.  Now, they serve on the home front by providing logistical support against the new scourge, COVID-19. We give thanks.

     Yet another floater, Memorial Day, is on May’s last Monday. The celebration on the 16th is for the living, and this one is for those who gave it all – those who died serving our country. You don’t have to say much, but do think, remember, and give thanks to all.

Rodger Skidmore
Author: Rodger Skidmore

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