Friday, March 18, 2016

the wonder fairy comes calling

Today and yesterday seem to have been times to reconnect or soar with wonder.

On the one hand, there were the first 20-odd pages of a novel I gather was popular when it came out in 2005 called "The Book Thief." I am slow in getting around to things and slower still to open a book, but I needed something to send me to sleep, so I opened it and began to read. I could feel myself balking at the time frame and tableau -- World War II and the Holocaust -- but the narrator's voice led me in, brought me along, and entranced me. The voice telling the tale was the voice of Death.

And yet, having read 20 pages, I went back and reread them. Yes, it was the voice of Death -- a ballsy artistic choice -- and yet I was not quite sure. Couldn't this voice as easily be the voice of Life? My answer was "mostly, yes" and there was a wonderful jolt that that recognition or imagining should be so easy and smooth and fairy-tale-esque without being a fairy tale. Death speaks. Life speaks. No point in falling for the old juxtaposition of "life and death," a false, if popular, duet. Just how plumb wonderful that the one might stand for the other or the other for the one. Not two.

And then today, somehow I got roped into listening to Beethoven's "Emperor Concerto," a marvel among marvels that made me wonder if the creator of so much of what I called beauty would have been aware of the tsunami he had unleashed ... for me and perhaps for others. JEEEEE-SUS!!!!!!

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