often, feelings come at rather inconvenient times. more one tries to escape, more one gets sucked in, to the bottom of the maelstrom. in midst of drowning, reality shatters, death- if briefly.
today's morning was full of big, heavy wet snow, turning into freezing rain. big flakes being guided by the wind, slapping against the waterproof jacket hood. hazy, heavy and opaque. not at all calm, menacing, as it continued to pour down these big frozen tears.
i often wonder what is going on in midst of something beautiful. when i see beauty, do you also see beauty? but what do you see? and what do i see? what did anyone else see? it is fleeting, it may not even last long enough to register into one's own consciousness.
some days, the familiar beauty, in conjunction with other alertoric passage of the day, becomes too hot to handle- and one falls into the alternate reality- the reality comprised solely of imagination, memories and projection. strong and irresistible; we fall on our knees, pleading for that hint of dignity, should we be in 'danger' of being vulnerable.
dropping heavy boots onto the floor, i opened the book, for the class. debussy's prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune. over the years, i got to know it intimately, for the conducting class. the sensuousness, the colours, sighs and feline curvatures. like a cat youve known all your life- you can trace it in your mind, the warmth and softness of its breathing body.
there's that one favorite part of mine: mm. 55, d flat major.
we take the turn, somehow, we get to an open- vastly open and light-filled space. ocean blue, no cloud in the sky. brilliant platinum whites and deepest cobalt blue. the tang of the ocean and the endless horizon, flatter than silence.
i have seen this coast, in quiet and reclusive southern french coast of cap d'antibe, steps away from the bustle of nice. chagall, matisse, monet and picasso painted here. with the vibrant colours that looks impossible under the indoor lighting of art galleries. it is of no fluke that cote d'azure have inspired so many painters. we were there in the week of the nice carnival; it rained most of the time. we took solace in warm and dry indoor, looking out to the grey sea, warmed by the essence of the summer in our wine glasses. till the penultimate day, when the sun rose and everything became magic.
pale golden sun, warm on skin.
we walked along the coast. full of unreleased sighs. the mind took it in, all of it, expanding all directions, of this golden sphere of moment.
and today, while expecting to feel this familiar coast, a surprise.
just this summer, i drove out with minnow to the west coast. and from west vancity, i drove straight to kelowna; winding road, rain-reduced visibility, then sleek surface with long and fast passages. it wasnt an easy drive but i had a destination.
i kept the GPS coordinate from the police report where my brother died six years ago. ive been wanting to finish his drive from tofino, just half-hour short from kelowna.
we parked the car on the side of the road. it was during the darkest point of the night when he crashed (130am). he would not have seen how deep the fall would be. or if there was a fall, awaiting for him, destiny. but when we got to kelowna, the summer sun was high, things were perfectly beautiful. and the water, calmer than silence. once again. brilliant with refraction on surface. as if, nothing happened.
this morning, we were talking briefly about mahler 5 adagietta in regards to tempi. and came death in venice. of fleeting beauty. of intersection of lives. of the plague. of tadzio.
all i could see was- water. the infinite big blue water. d flat major. suffocation in the glorious water. suspension of time. nullification of our lives. exaltation beyond the human flesh. and water, of cote d'azure, of the okanagan lake, blue.
oh how the tears fell.
i couldnt stop. the more i resisted, the stronger it pulled. as the music evolved into its glorious peak, i was pulled further and further under onto the heart of the maelstrom. invisible yet real, simultaneously.
tears fell for beauty. for longing. for loss. for vulnerability.
there came the hints of brutal spring and eternal summer and it left me this morning, in midst of grayest winter.
with messy aftermath of the big, unforgiving water, i walk through the day, with hint of salt and water in my mind. in my face.
what did you see this morning-
what did beauty do to you today-
*painting cred: cap d'antibe, monet (1888),
monet painted 40 landscape from antibes in jan-may 1899.