Saturday, October 29, 2011

Op. 31, No. 3

Someone who played Chopin remembered me today as someone who played Beethoven. In the sense, I hope, of the heroine of, oh, you know, that Helena Bonham Carter/Daniel Day Lewis movie of that English novel--come on, brain--yes--A "A Room with a View." A passionate young woman, with unruly hair, physically expressive at the piano. Sitting down to play the opening measures of a sonata with fury and intensity, then joining the composer’s passion with her own and rushing on to deeper more nuanced emotion. Was I a girl like that? Or just as someone who nailed Ludwig’s notes one day in a performance where things just came together? I going for the romance, the Romantic, in my soul.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The arc

It was one of those days when I was in and out of the car every couple hours, catching snatches of NPR. The first, this morning between church services, was a report on rape and sexual violence in East Congo. The stories were horrifying. They made me sick. One of the people being interviewed spoke of how alone these women are, how they fear for their life every day, and how they stil have hope that something will get better. It did not make me hopeful. It astonished me that we humans need hope so badly we look for it and delude ourselves with it even in unthinkably awful circumstances. Later, in mid-afternoon, I heard another story. I remember thinking, Sunday must be NPR's day for reporting on everything awful in the world. But I cannot remember what the story was about. And I'm embarrassed to say so. Still later, while shifting the car from one end of the vast parking lot to the other (so much stuff in America, so much laziness), I heard a snippet from the dedication of the Martin Luther King memorial in Washington, D. C. Quoting the man: "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." Bend the arc, Lord. Show me where to push and pull.