Thursday, December 6, 2012

an eternity of traveling light


What I really love about words are their ability to tell a story. The fact that words are not purely instructive, but transformative.

Words can capture what pictures paint perfectly in an instant. 
A story. 
Like this picture:

Found in this article. Which I'm currently transfixed by and obsessed with.
Stories. They're everywhere.

~

Like I mentioned a few posts ago, I can play one piece on the piano from memory. 
It's Debussy's Doctor Gradus Ad Parnassum from the Children's Corner collection.
It's a beautiful bit of joyful, childlike melancholy: it sounds like streetlights shimmering on a rainy day.

It's the only piano piece that I've kept in my memory. I hope Miss Lungwitz would be proud.
One of Miss Lungwitz's many gifts was being a music matchmaker. She could match a student's temperament and talent to a piece of music that matched them perfectly. She knew exactly what sort of Romantic pieces I adored, and she excelled at choosing pieces each student would adore. She found pieces that were full of fiery passion, delicate whimsy, and sometimes wry playfulness. Miss Lungwitz was, in my fourth grade mind, the epitome of all glamour, Romanticism, and elegance.
Besides her name, she had beautiful curly black hair, dressed like I imagined a queen would, and my mother once hinted about a tragic love story in her past--something about an ex-fiancé or suitor. I was captivated by the idea. But instead of a man in the house, she had two fluffy white cats--elusive little enigmas that loved her and only her, and would scamper away like twin streaks of white lightening from any other visitors.

But if you were lucky enough, during your lesson, one or two little fluffy white things would tentatively peek around the corner. And you would put Bach and Beethoven and arpeggios on hold for a moment to pay homage to the real queens of the household. I loved Miss Lungwitz and I loved her cats. And I loved piano music, but I've come to realize music means more with the stories behind it.

~

The gloriousness of stories is that they're full of surprises.
Nothing goes ever quite the way you expect it to, but everything rings true.
No matter the outlandish grandeur of the tale being told, each piece fits together perfectly, so that when you step back to consider it, you find that all you can say is: Why yes. How could it go any other way? Those moments of such perfect harmony are the stuff of dreams. Once you find one, you immediately recognize it and open your arms wide to receive it. And then leave it behind. Those moments give you the strength to slog through all the messy-mess of being human until the next time you are graced with that moment. That moment where the earth and sky seem to hum with beauty. Grace is so palpable, you can almost taste it on your tongue.
It tastes like fresh cold night air and sunlight mixed into one.

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