Monday, October 18, 2010

"I love Haydn"

All of us have chanced to spend some time with friends in the last few hours or days of their life; and we have seen a tendency to compose one's thoughts upon a select circle of reference points to contemplate. 

One such afternoon, I happened to be visiting with my longtime barber, an extremely young man, in the hospital of his demise. An announcement interrupted us, of the arrival of a trio from the San Francisco Symphony, to play some pieces in a common room for patients. We, who had attended so many of their concerts through the years, felt a very great lightening of our minds with this information, and as the one of us wheeled the other's weightless chair down the corridor to greet them, we were restored most happily to that flux - music - which for years had so buoyed our friendship.

People find their modes of being close, of looking after each other through the mechanism of enthusiasm, first. People who know no words for good-bye, or I love you, find themselves accepting the treasure of such sounds from other instruments. We understand the sound of infinite aspiration.  

As we positioned ourselves by a cafeteria table in the impromptu recital hall, our visitors began to play. He lifted his face to me, blinded now by medicines allowing him to eat. I love Haydn, are the only exact words I can remember his ever saying to me, through years of lavish Thanksgivings and earnest, energetic conversations. Yet, as he supposed I would discover, I had never been so sweetly addressed in my life. If he or I had so much as a head of lettuce as an heir, we would cultivate it with this love, to carry it at least so far as to nourish one other young heart. 

Franz Josef Haydn, Piano Trio  in F
Beaux Arts Trio, Phillips ©


  1. that is just beautiful, no little flattery intended-as I know you would disdain that. oddly enough my mother and I have been in route to and from the NC mountains- speaking through our silences with beautiful music and occasional tears. You do have a way with evoking some of the same.pgt

  2. if i may say
    music is what connects us to the unknown
    and the unseen
    often in times of need.
    if one is of a certain age
    this post is memory and perhaps tears
    for those we loved.

  3. There's an editing of attachments ("enthusiasms") to those which correspond - I think - with what we sense to be nourishing in life, more than with how we might be delivered from it. The sense of being nourished, our very first experience, defines an attachment we have never surpassed in all our imaginings of this world or any other. It follows from this that the sight of a friend's having known this experience, is unforgettably consoling, so that a passing with that confidance is the ultimate generosity. The music is no more than the medium of its exchange; but I have said that Haydn strikes me as a pretty sound currency, and (not to be dogmatic) I'll stick to that proposition.

    I thank you both for your comments because I am still better able to critique my own remarks with the support of your scrutiny. This is not a posting about music, it's a posting about that nourishment which occupies no space, hypothesised in the sidebar. I appreciate the reminder.