My mind is broiling in thoughts about music and art right now. I’m trying to finish a blog post about my family history and Beethoven’s 9th symphony and the film Immortal Beloved (trust me, it all comes to bear). I’ve attacked this blog post badly by four different angles over 18 months, and I’ve decided that I just need to finish it.
I take out my art history books early in the morning when I can’t go back to sleep. Searching for something on the tip of my tongue. (Umberto Eco’s On Ugliness has proved especially fascinating.)
I search YouTube for the music that I can’t specifically name, but which I recognize immediately when I hear it (I remember the composers). Music from a specific time in my life–my early adolescence.
I found this piece, which I haven’t listened to in its entirety in at least ten years:
This poem, as well, from The Narcissus Flower, by Rita Dove. I think I read this poem late–maybe early undergrad…? It is about the myth of Persephone, a maiden goddess who was abducted by Hades, the King of the Underworld. It is told in first person.
And though nothing could chasten
the plunge, this man
adamant as a knife easing into
the humblest crevice, I found myself at
the center of a calm so pure, it was hate.
The mystery is, you can eat fear
before fear eats you,
you can live beyond dying–
and become a queen
whom nothing surprises.
Is that why I have chosen to live as I have…?