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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Synergy. By John von Daler

                  Advantage? Maybe. Of getting old. You mix things up. On the long slide from memory to consciousness, pictures, tastes, smells, sounds run together, dissolving into each other and becoming one.

                  I stand back and let it happen. #Brahms' double concerto for violin and cello, heard for the first time in the Danish provinces in the 1970's on a long-playing record with #Heifetz and #Piatigorsky, melts into a kindred experience, tasting my first Crottin de #Chavignol with a glass of #Sancerre Rosé, somewhere in the outskirts of Copenhagen also in the '70's.
                Why do they mix? Richness: the thick, strong, heady, luxurious harmonies of Brahms where nothing ever is simple or sleek, but everything always is solidly mixed together, sweet and pungent, entertwined. Again, richness: the white, thick goat cheese, starting to dry, yet still wet enough to melt, the baguette, crispy but chewy too, the wine round but tart, the tastes running together like a map of the Loire, Sancerre on the hill and Chavignol in the valley, wine above cheese, but somehow related like the breast and stomach of the same person, lying down, stretched out across the plains, a culinary Gulliver.
                So this old man taking a bite of the cheese and drinking the wine automatically hears the music, or sitting in the concerthall, hears the harmonies of cello and violin and starts to salivate, to long for a plate, a glass, a blunt knife.
                Please remember when I look at you, if I disappear into my own mind, I probably am gliding into some personal synergy of which you and I are a part, connected, enhanced, ever energized by unforseen elements, entangled with the universe: the old man, his world now shrunken, boiled down to the size of a pea, still ever so much alive, because he still is mixing it up.

Want to read a book by this old man?

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