On Angels

This week I am moving away from the pressure of reading this book by that date in favour of more timeless thoughts.  Not mine obviously but those of musicians, philosophers, poets.  A ‘melding of the individual and the universal which is the creation of art, the simplicity after the difficulties.

It is a frenetic, fragmented and somewhat poorly world that we all inhabit together, at the moment is it not?   Social media scores deeper along our already fragmented lines, causing a savaging  of our artistic headspace , and loss of that uninterrupted time to think and to be that artists crave.  Blogging takes time away from other writing projects.  Other writing projects take away time for blogging and music practise takes time away from both.  It’s a first world problem?   Only if art and the production of it is regarded as a luxury rather than a necessity.


On Art

Daisaku Ikeda

“The Life essence of art – whether it be painting, music or dance – lies in expressing through a wellbeing of emotion the universal realm of the human spirit.  It is a melding of the individual and the universal.  That is why great art reaches out beyond ethnic and national barriers to move people all over the world.”

Daisaku Ikeda 2001 The New Human Revolution Vol. 7 p35 CA: World Tribune Press



On Simplicity

Frederic Chopin

Simplicity is the final achievement.  After one has conquered all the difficulties, after one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges in all its charm as the ultimate crowning reward of art.


Frederic Chopin quoted in William A. Palmer, ed. Chopin An Introduction to His piano Works (New York: Alfred Puplishing Co., 1971. found in The Analog Sea Review No. 2


Eavan Boland seeks to position herself in the history of her own nation, when that very history has chosen to exclude her as a woman and a poet while Rilke positions mankind within the eternal.


On Nation

In any new dispensation the idea of a nation must seem an expendable construct.  After all it has never admitted women.  Its flags and songs and battle cries, even its poetry as I’ve suggested made use of feminine imagery.  But that is all. The true voice and vision of women are routinely excluded.

Then why did I not walk away? Simply because I was not free to.  For all my quarrels with the concept and no doubt partly because of them I needed to find and repossess that idea at some level of repose….more important as a friend and feminist scholar said to me, we ourselves are constructed by the construct.  I might be the author of my poems. I was not the author of my past.

Eavan Boland. Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in our Time (New York, Norton & Co, 1995)


On Joy and Sorrow

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

“Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say ‘Joy is greater than sorrow’, and others say , ‘Nay, sorrow is the greater.’ But I say unto you they are inseparable.  Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.”


On Angels

No, we don’t accomplish our love in a single year

as the flowers do, an immemorial sap

flows up through our arms when we love.  Dear girl,

this: that we loved, inside us, not One who would someday

appear, but

seething multitudes; not just a single child,

but also the fathers lying in our depths

like fallen mountains; also the dried-up riverbeds

of ancient mothers – ; also the whole

soundless landscape under the clouded or clear

sky of its destiny – :all this, my dear preceded you.


From: Rainer Maria Rilke. Duino Elegies, Ed. and Trans. Stephen Mitchell (Vintage, 2009)


2 thoughts on “On Angels

  1. Thanks for the expression of art music joy. Wine chocolate Chopin . 78 degrees. Can’t complain. Peace is within.