A boggy patch of Dartmoor? It certainly feels damp and wet under me, and Schubert's music from the wind-up radio has not stopped playing about my ears, and green-minded, but the temperature and humidity appears to have risen considerably since last we met and spoke here a week ago. We seem to have progressed to another location.Where? Well, it could be below (or is it above?) the Tropic of Capricorn, since – My. My… – you have been busy during the intervening period! While I have been lounging and loafing in my hammock listening to the endless Schubertiade on BBC Radio 3 over the last week and merely considering the possibilities of threesomes and triangulations, you seem to have got right 'stuck in' taking hold of Smith and Dumezil in both eroticised hands ahead of me.
A Schubertiade, it is wise to make these observations this at the outset, is an evening occasion when musical pieces are played together in an informal way to be shared among friends – or "male companions", as you prefer to call the relationship, perhaps in a (none of that kind of sodomy thing) pre-cautionary thrust against Sappho rearing her shaggy head? But I think you are too late here, and will find the meaneads are already among us, and probably Achilles too in his young cross-dressing phase, and as well as Sappho, there is Gaspara Stampa and Mary W among a host of others.
A Schubertiade is also a kind of journey along side-roads and tracks. For instance, one of the musicians playing has been the pianist Paul Lewis, who, as the BBC Radio 3 announcer explained, had interupted his two year concert-hall worldwide odyssey playing the Schubert sonatas on Monday evening a week back to return to his home city Liverpool – for the recital he played 16 German dances, and then the two A minor sonatas D784 and D845 (a risky combo it was suggested), but… you will have missed it now -f you have missed it – as it will now gone past the 'Listen Again' option deadline.
What kind of journey? It is a series of unsettling journeys along roads where the destination is known, but where there is no prospect of resolution or attainment. However, fortunately in the company of Schubert's music there is always the quality of kindness, the journeys always being ones that "take you to the top of the mountain, but then brings you back down again". The destination, in case you need it spelling out, is of course the grave, where he gently asks, "Since that is where we will all end up, why not have a look now?"
Like in the Schone Mullerin I am feeling green-minded. "in Grunen… wieder Grunen… immer Grunen", it started off well enough in threesome-ness. I headed off into the wilderness and it was/I was green everywhere and there by the babbling brook there she stood, and I lost my heart to her… But then you came in and spoiled everything, you; the hunter, the man who wears green, is green, and goes by so many names, St George, El Khidr and others. So I am green-minded too, eroticised, and also politicised – one is reminded that in Schubert's days to be an artist or poet who goes wandering freely and beyond the jealous eyes and ears of the 'listening stations' of the secret agents (who are everywhere within the city) is to be political – and beyond that death awaits me.