Every time I travel to hear a concert it takes me a few days to get back to normal afterwards. I have found that whatever I hear, especially if it’s already familiar, has a way of getting stuck in my head and usually has to be dislodged by force – after last week I swear I am not going near anything Figaro-related for like six months, at least. (Although wouldn’t it be fun to set the auto-reply to my work email for the summer with: “Madama qui non è” ? But there’s probably some rule that all auto-replies 1. have to be in English and 2. cannot be facetious quotations from opera libretti. Besides, I still have to answer the email.)
Books are one answer. Thinking someone else’s thoughts for a few hours is extremely restful. Steve Reich’s music is also good for this, at least in my case, because it never reminds me of anything. There is also physical activity, but the gym has been closed for the holiday weekend here, and after a terrifyingly chilly May (we were wearing sweaters! SWEATERS! OUTDOORS!) it has gotten hot, and running outside is no longer optimal.
Oh, and I surrendered to the powers of hell and bought the DVD of the Met’s Enchanted Island. I do not know why. Do not ask me why. I will regret it. I know this. But I did it anyway. It’s like how when you get stitches, and the doctor tells you not to pick at or otherwise mess with them, but you mess with them anyway and then later you really wish you hadn’t? (I had stitches once, on my leg, and this happened. I now have a large scar on my right shin that apparently would have been much smaller if I had left well enough alone.) I think that what I will do is watch the dvd with a friend and a bottle of scotch and we will see if it doesn’t turn out to be profoundly . . . profound or something.