Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Good News

. I had to comment on the inauguration. I've done so. But I want to end the day with something more important and lasting.

Commenters reacted with appreciation for the Philip Glass tour de force, The Hours. I listened to every piece recommended, and I thank everyone who recommended. They were all good, some extraordinary. Yet I found myself coming back to The Hours, which I remind you I found by accident, and in particular the video of its performance.

I keep watching it, and somehow the music, the performer, and the video have become one in my mind, a transcendent gestalt I may never be able to separate into component parts. Sorry. Not trying to be opaque. The music is genius. The pianist is inspired. And the video of this performance is greater than the music or the pianist. It's a glimpse of perfection.

Why I'm redirecting your attention in the wake of yesterday's buffoonish celebration of empty self. Watch THIS thing again. And especially all of you who think I don't understand the unique strengths of womanhood at its best.

You have to watch it full screen in hi-def. That's when you start to feel her hands. Not young hands. Weathered but not old either. They've washed dishes, changed diapers, maybe darned socks, felt for where it hurts with exquisite sensitivity, rushed quivering to the face at awful news, plied the pen to do the books and write the checks, and most likely tended a garden or picked a crop.

We can't see her face. But we get to hear her heart. Everything has happened to her and nothing will ever make her stop.

We see her in profile. What is the piano? This grand Steinway is no phallic symbol. Its curves are female, its voice mightier than sex. The insistence is not prayer, not mother love, not carnal desire. It's not even what we call vitality. It's the ferocity of life as we're supposed to live it, not in passive appreciation but in the hungry perseverant never ever subsiding passion which fills every hour with the life that IS what we mean when we speak of God.

So I keep looking at her hands. Where the music is coming from. Her frail bent back. Where the power is coming from. And Glass, presumably, is being channeled through her bun.

Regardless, none of this art will ever be brought to you by the collective action sponsored by the government.

All right, maybe I'm a little bit crazy right now. But if I weren't, I'd be concerned that maybe I'm a little bit crazy in the aftermath of a catastrophic proof that the country as a whole has gone completely batshit crazy.

Persevere nonetheless.

Here endeth my day.

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