11 July 2018

Getting older has made me aware how amazing it is to have been alive in the first place, (. . . ) it used to be if I got caught in the rain, I’d think, what a nuisance, and now if I get caught in the rain I think that there are a finite number of times in one’s life when one gets caught in the rain.

Marylinne Robinson

Strange, almost forgotten smells and sounds. It's raining. Soft at first, and then a hammering downpour last night. The branches of the almond tree that reach inside the bedroom window sent a line of drops onto the sheets. I scooped them up in my hands, almost enough to drink.

In my early teenage years in arrogant academia, there was just one hour on Franconian radio designated to the younger audience. On weekdays at 4 pm, I sat, alone and motionless, holding my breath. Impossible to imagine that I was not the only one, the last lost soul, listening, starving for music, for sounds, for voices, to feel understood, recognised. Terrified that my mother would walk in, angry, you call that music.

They worked hard in those days, the young radio men, who made these hours into something meaningful, dramatic, chaotic, weird and I loved them so very much. The next morning, on the sleepy bus journey to school, I whispered the magic names, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Cat Stevens, King Crimson, Roberta Flack, Van Morrison.




In the interview that I linked to above (click on her name) Marylinne Robinson, when asked what single thing she believes would make the world in general a better place, replies, loving it more.

That is the grand answer. The one that works with everything.

7 comments:

  1. loving it more. exactly. while the industrial revolution increased wealth and perhaps made us safer and certainly reduced physical labor it also separated us from the earth. there are people who have never seen the Milky Way much less stars beyond only a handful, people who live their lives with no green space surrounded by concrete, people who never hear bird song or frogs or crickets. no wonder we have no love or respect for the natural world.

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  2. I read that interview in The Guardian, too. To loving the world more, I'd add taking time to imagine how everyone has a world in their head, very much like one's own, full of loves, hopes, fears, etc. I was watching a queue of people the other day wondering at the sum of their experiences and at all the millions of decisions they had taken in their lives that had led them all to be there, waiting to order a takeaway. It was quite overwhelming.

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  3. Oh, Sabine. Yes. Loving it more. And I try to every day.

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  4. That IS the grand answer. I love her quote, too. Things which seem like a problem are often only problematic when we see them through that lens.

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  5. Yes, loving it more. Sometimes when I look up at the sky during the day, I wish that we could see the stars, the galaxies, as far as possible. We need to be reminded all the time of our tiny speck in the universe and protect it as best we can. Now we can hardly see a handful of stars on a clear night. Beautiful music helps.

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  6. Music definitely has a life of its own, especially when we are teenagers. I often wish I could recover that passion. I guess I need to work on it. Van Morrison is the perfect place to start.

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  7. There are few things more comforting to me than the sound of rain. It helps me love the world.

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