Friday, February 29, 2008

Musical Rambling VI: Franck's Sonata

Franck' s Violin Sonata is an unforgettable piece of music: so sweet, languid, evanescent..

(somehow it captures perfectly my current mood)

Here is performed by the skillful hand of Christian Ferras, whose untimely death adds a sad touch to this phenomenal interpretation.

Candles are recommended.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The infamous sentence of Novalis

Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg, better known as Novalis, had, in his brief life, many things to say. There is hardly a more abundant book than his Fragments, a bag of startling insights, mad conjectures, fascinating and far-fetched comparisons.

It is difficult to choose a single sentence there. Nevertheless, I shall try. Here it is:

Wir suchen immer das Unbedingte und finden nur Dinge

Which I translate as follows:

We always search for the undetermined and we find always things.

Un-bedingte is an interesting word: the verb bedingen means determine, condition, etc. Sometimes Unbedingte is translated as Absolute, which is also correct, as the absolute is free from conditions.

May we learn the art of looking through things, into the Unbedingte...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Being like Water

Bruce Lee' s fame as a martial artist and as an actor needs no comment. Yet this man, larger than life, has left behind a few pearls of wisdom for the rest of us. None is more famous and more enjoyable than his legendary "Be Water" interview:

Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless--like water.

Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup,

You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle,

You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot.

Now water can *flow* or it can *crash*!

Be water, my friend.