September 8, 2011 —
The use of three dots at the end of a sentence has a name: ellipsis. The word’s origin has been traced to the Greek language and is a series of marks that “usually indicate an intentional omission of a word or sentence, or whole section from the original text being quoted,” (www.wikipedia.org ).
An ellipsis can also be used to indicate a pause in speech, an unfinished thought, or, at the end of a sentence; a trailing off into silence (aposiopesis). “When placed at the beginning or end of a sentence, the ellipsis can also inspire a feeling of melancholy longing.”
Not to be confused with an ellipse, “a plane curve that results from the intersection of a cone by a plane in a way that produces a closed curve” (it’s all Greek to me), this triple-dot punctuation mark is also called a “suspension point,” or colloquially, dot-dot-dot.
I use ellipses daily, in writing or conversation, where I often find my thoughts trailing off into the air, and as summer draws to a close, I begin to review where I’ve been, the wonderful concerts I’ve attended, the art shows perused, the long, lazy days at the dock and ...
Before melancholia takes hold, I’ll try to shake it off and be thankful for the few dry days we had. This past weekend, I joined the sold-out crowd of uber-fans who showed up (in droves) at Bethel Woods (www.bethelwoodscenter.org ) to pay homage to Sir Elton John, who graced the Hudson Valley with his presence, his talent and most of all, his songs. As he played a solid three-hour (no intermission) set of hit after hit, I silently lamented the end of the concert season (I guess that’s why they call it the blues), took a few pictures and sat back to listen.
John, now 64, may have spread a bit (around the middle) but his music and (IMHO) incredible skill as a musician show no signs of age. Appropriately opening the show with “Saturday Night,” he instantly segued into “I’m Still Standing” and proceeded to deliver monster chart toppers “Bennie and the Jets,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Tiny Dancer” and a 20-minute-long version of signature song “Rocket Man” that had the audience over the moon with excitement, appreciation and awe.
With more than 75 incredible songs in his catalog, John must be one of the richest composers in the world—but as most people know, he is also one of the most giving to his audience: his many charitable causes and his largesse is as legendary as his repertoire. While the large-scale shows in the pavilion may have drawn to a close for the season, there are still wonderful programs waiting in the wings at the Bethel Woods Event Gallery through the next few months, and I look forward to the Brawner Brothers Band (10/14), Minas: Brazilian Adventure (10/23) and Brother Jocephus & the Love Revival Revolution orchestra (11/13), among others.
In addition, the Harvest Festival kicked off on the Bethel Woods grounds this past week, and I always enjoy the weeks-long celebration of all things autumn. As we prepare to put away the swimsuits and pack up the hammocks, I am reminded of what a great season still lies ahead. Pumpkins are already emerging throughout the region and “Jeff Fest” (www.jeffersonvillemainstreet.com ) is just around the corner, replete with duck races and a Main Street party (8/17) that will chase away the end-of-summer blues while heralding the fall foliage that (considering the rainfall) should be more than spectacular this year.
The Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop (scdw.net) is presenting “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “Wrong Window” this month and next, and there will be concerts, productions and scores of art shows to attend as summer gives way to fall. Each year at this time, I hear the strains of Michel Legrand’s haunting melody, “The Summer Knows,” play endlessly in my head as I break out the first sweater and begin to rake: “The summer smiles, the summer knows. And unashamed, she sheds her clothes. And if you’ve learned your lesson well, there’s little more for her to tell. One last caress, it’s time to dress for fall” dot-dot-dot...