Catching summer's end


'What's in New Lebanon," my intern asked, and I thought of Qawwali music.

A quick drumbeat high steps over accordian swinging and holding tones and voices overlapping light and high.

The Abode of the Message's summer concert series will wind up with Fanna Fi-Allah at 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28. The group performs in a thousand-year-old tradition, setting the words of Sufi poets to music, and singing in Urdu, Farsi, Hindi and Punjabi.

I remembered that I wanted to remember this. It's the time of summer when I start to ask myself -- what do I want to do that I haven't done yet?

Somehow August moves fast. The WordXWord Festival is already in full swing, and I want to hear Falu read again, the way she filled Gallery 51 with laughter in June. I watched the people sitting around me, and their faces lit up as they listened, and they turned to each other grinning. I'm sure her companion poets have the same verve.

Before the summer winds down, I want to spend a warm evening at the Mount, maybe listening to Professor Jennifer Finney Boylan tell stories.

Maybe I'll get to Dreamaway Lodge -- or grab a molasses-dark bagel from the Great Barrington Bagel Co. -- or sit back over a plate-sized blueberry pancake at Gould Farm's Roadside Cafe in Monterey.

Maybe I'll finally get the hazlenut dark chocolate frozen yogurt from Ayelada I've been curious about for a year. And the Clark Art Institute has one more Tuesday evening concert on the lawn left this season.

We have spent this summer moving so fast, and as I write this, all of our major festivals are flying in high gear. It's odd to feel August moving gently toward its close.

At least the summer, the sweet corn, the peaches and the iced coffee will stay around for awhile longer. And they all go well with music outdoors and a friend to share the blanket.


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