Cloud no. 81

Listening to classical music while flying through the air is something I do when traveling overseas. Here are a couple things I wrote, and the pieces of music I listened to while composing them. 

detail Gentle Spring, c.1865, Frederick Sandys 

My advice is to give your heart away — even though it may return to you in a different state. For then your heart has been in some subtle way changed each time you give it to someone or something.

And does it matter so much if someone else wants your heart? 
The beauty of your openness is a sweetness which extends throughout an entire human life when there is so much bitter to the taste of the world. Loving is a kind of reverence to the best few moments we each have on earth. Loving, even without being loved in return, is the choice to chase beauty no matter where you are, as we did when we were youths on the cusp of experiencing all things new, strange, and wonderful. For us we taste the freshness of life anew each time we love for the sake of it, for the sake of others. And we are renewed for these acts where it counts the most, in our interior worlds which rule us more than we’d like to admit. 
Love with the hope of growing from it but not being saved by it or saved by anyone is found in the recollection of oneself, in the time it takes to know this new self again in a selfless act …that is all about the self … beyond merely ourselves alone.
Lubomyr Melnyk “Illirion” piano 
“cloud No. 81”


Detail of John William Godward’s Contemplation (1903)

Discover something new which moves you everyday, be like Goethe, find a little verse or literature, a little classical or opera or traditional folk music of some sort, see a little art, read a philosophy or theological quote, and put yourself out in nature near something green or foresty or near water… get under open sky, winter or summer, spring or autumn… in a city park or in pure nature. Move and stretch. Breathe. Drink water. Drink life. Taste the chance of a new encounter, a new idea, a new friend, a new emotion even, some subtle change which alters the fabric of being even as it hints to the past like fleeting clues in a dream half remembered upon waking up and going out into the day.

Je Veulx Laysser Melancolie de Ricaforte by Luis de Narváez 
Il primo libro d’Intavolatura di Liuto: Corrente by Michelangelo Galilei 

Les Cantiques de Salomon: I. Sinfonia Grave by Salamone de Rossi Ebreo 


Nascita di Venere (detail),

Sandro Botticelli, ca. 1486

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the dear one

I miss the sweetness I assigned to you.
I miss the laughter I put into your mouth, the twinkle I applied to your eyes, the desire I affixed to your grin. 

I miss picturing the heart of you, a creature solely of imagination. I miss creating in you an image I longed to see in myself, like two threads occasionally meeting at intervals of time and space. 
I miss the secrets behind your eyes and the smile I dreamt was profound and beautiful. 

I miss the hope of you, which was really the longing for a life of beauty and understanding. 

I miss pretending I knew you and you knew me. I miss your bright spots in my dark days … I miss shining onto you my dearest wish for your happiness. 

To reveal myself I am no longer a figure of desire, but to not reveal myself I am not truly myself, I am a shadow of a monster on my worst day, I’m a ghost haunting my body, not a soul seen through a plaintive word or smile or gesture. And I am at my best not in my cup nor quip, but l’esprit d’escalier… the wit on the staircase, comebacks better left for my notebooks or to renewed silence set serenely behind a mysterious smile. 

Too much light, too many open doors and windows, too many candles glowing too brightly, burning twice as fast, illuminating darkness all around me, always looking for that hint of color, that fresher air, that rain storm and later sun to make the clouds and the sea more terrible and more beautiful. To feel and see it all more intensely. That’s what life is for, isn’t it? That’s what makes the pain more bearable? 

The returned love which dies, and the love returned without reply? That’s what makes the grim and the grey take on luminous shades against the backdrop of the sea inside, the waves and crests, the pull back, the crashing over, and the light always lit, whether we draw the curtains or fling them open again after a long slumber.