Sunday, 15 April 2007

Missing beauty

Sometimes we miss it.


troy said...

Wow. (Thanks for the link.) I'm not sure if I'm more in awe at the music, his (God-given) talent, or the numbness of the audience.

The essay's notes on Kantian philosophy are interesting, especially as we cling to the truth of Romans 1. Such thought is explicitly rejected as an excuse for ignorance in that passage. The next logical question (to me) is, "what, if any, responsibility do we, as presenters of the Gospel, incur for creating optimal conditions for receiving the Gospel?" The answer cannot be "none," as we have the responsibility of interceding for the lost. We often pray in preparation for evangelistic events. Neither can the answer be "every responsibility," as we do not bring about regeneration in Man. I'm not expecting any definite answers.

Thanks, as usual, for giving me something to think about.

mama said...

Sorry, but I'm on the side of the majority who rushed by.

When you've earned your bread, you can relax and enjoy a break, and listen to beautiful music with a clear conscience. When the reward is presented before the earning, we're rightly thrown out of kilter.

And the boss isn't going to accept "I stopped to listen to an outstanding street musician" as an excuse for you missing the start of the nine o'clock board meeting.

Then of course, if the busker sounded that good, I'd be thinking, why doesn't he earn a proper living like the rest of us, instead of begging on the streets?

Besides, an intricate and abstruse piece of Bach ain't everyone's choice! Nor is Ave Maria :(

étrangère said...

Ah, maman, that's not the point. It's not that everyone should've listened for 10 minutes and been late for their work - no! It's not that they were in a rush. It's that they didn't notice. They didn't look up. They didn't glance round. They weren't prepared for beauty.

It doesn't matter that it was a piece of solo Bach rather than a showman piece. (And that's not such an 'abstruse' work - I played bits of that in 6th form; it's fantastic.) D'you think if it were The Lark Ascending they'd have stopped? No, they had no place in their mind for beauty to interupt their routine expectations.

I wouldn't have recognised Bell - still have no idea what he looks like and don't really care. If he were in New Street station, when I was rushing to a meeting at Aston, I would have only been able to spare 5min (I always leave myself 5min leaway). But I would've noticed. I'd have noticed if they stuck Perlman on the tannoy! Context does throw us, of course. But why not always be ready for beauty to break into the routine? In fact, always be ready to find beauty in the context of the routine. How sad not to!

On my way to any one of my unis, whether on bike, foot or train, I pass through the park down the road from my house. I'm always hurrying: that's the way I walk; or I enjoy cycling fast and have a train to catch. But whenever there's birdsong, or the sun is lighting up the mist through the trees, or there's an enthusiastic puppy, or someone sitting on a bench, I pause. It might be a momentary intake of breath & a smile, or a chuckle to the puppy without breaking step, or it might be a greeting, or stopping to gaze into a tree after the birdsong for 10 seconds. And not only in the park - it's found in the antics of a toddler in the station, in the skill of a random bagpipe-player outside M&S, in the businessman having a whale of a time at the end of the day on the elastic rope-trampoline get up in the BullRing... What would life be without noticing & appreciating beauty in routine?

But we expect to binge on boredom and then binge on beauty. Just as we binge on work and binge on rest. Meanwhile, glory passes us by.

mama said...

You would not be the daughter of your mama and papa if you had not written that answer! But some can (and must) absorb the glory in passing, without *observably* stopping to watch...

But don't you agree there can be an element of guilt - "I would love to stop but mustn't now"?

All Bach is abstruse. Now if it had been a piece of Bruch or Brahms...

étrangère said...

Guiltily busy, so stop our ears to the possibility of glory lest we recognise what we've missed and feel worse? Yes. A sense of guilt like a drug which numbs pain, also numbs the joy.

If it had been a piece of Bruch or Brahms it would've sounded rubbish without a full symphony orchestra accompanying. Pleb.