delithopia

Notes from the Waxhaws

Composing our lives

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Last Saturday evening, I went to see…or rather to hear…the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra (the other CSO). The music was wonderful. The highlight of the concert was Don Quixote…a tone poem by Richard Strauss, reflecting on the fabled life of Cervantes’ knight-errant.

Later that evening…after the concert was over…back in my car…during the hour or so it took me to descend the eight levels of the parking garage at the Bank of America Center in Uptown Charlotte…not having known that there was an NBA basketball game taking place right next door…I did some thinking about the nature of music…and of life itself.

Both involve time. Or rather…both move through time. Both deal with the eternal Now…being held in existence from moment to moment. During the entire thirty-eight minutes or so of the Don Quixote, if you were to listen only to one slice…one chord perhaps, at any one moment in time…it wouldn’t make much sense. And yet somehow…we can step back in our minds and take the entire piece in. How it begins…how it develops…how it eventually ends. Somehow…in some way…it all makes sense and stands as a coherent whole. Yes…I can see in some small way what Strauss had in mind. A life.

Strangely, this brought to mind stories of people who have been on the brink of death…of their entire life flashing before their eyes in a few moments. A review of one’s life, perhaps…the last judgement? But maybe…not so much a judgement…but more a recital for which we’ve been preparing all of our lives. Maybe we have more in common than we think with the music we love to listen to in dimly lit concert halls. Maybe we are the music…composing our lives…moment by moment…waiting for when our time comes to take the stage.

Written by Jim

January 20, 2015 at 8:00 pm

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