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Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Chagall Epiphany. By John von Daler

                                You realize when you open it that the window has not been moved since last October. As you push the glass out and up, the rubber insulation ring gives off a soft schyttt! and part of the gray strip lingers for a moment, stuck against the frame. Then it gives way and the lightly warm air rushes in. As you sit back in your arm chair, the breeze brings with it the budding sounds of spring.

                 Women in the courtyard exchange pleasantries you hear as atonal music, fluttering their eyes shut as they turn their faces toward the sun. Of course there is the noise of the magpies and of the great crane building the subway nearby. The new balconies come alive with the dragging of potted plants and scraping of chairs.  Men on these promontories test the timing and direction of the sun: When can we sit here? When will we go inside? They clatter quietly.
                As you go back to your work at the computer the sound of a #piano playing, lonely as a lost dog dragging its leash, tinkles through the unplanned noises, repeating itself in small, tight circles. "A" minor. With rhythmic fourths and thirds in the left hand, a sustained bass note, and then the little striving melody that works its way towards a dainty trill that this pianist cannot play as yet. You hear the myriad attempts, want to break in and help, but then give up, letting the notes wander into your subconscious, back to the days when you stood for hours together with Mendelssohn, trying to honor the music even as you assuaged the pain of puberty.
                You remember that there are the beaten paths that many want to take, wandering in the footsteps of other lovers of life, seeking beautiful views, art as it was meant to be, and the woven pattern that tells the tale you came to hear. But there are also new explorations, the forays into untrodden underbrush breaking suddenly into clearings, finding light out of immense darkness, and making patterns out of chance.
                You lean back in your chair and just for a moment love the world, because it gives you these prospects unhindered. Then you hear the pianist approach that inevitable trill once again and you wish for this player a sudden spreading of the wings, an unexpected flight into spring: as if someone had flung a #Chagall picture like a flag out the window, spreading quandaries among the solutions and a few questions among all the answers.

If you like the prose in the blog, you might fancy my book. Have a look HERE.



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