Monday, July 30, 2012

The Great Way

Greatness is a road leading towards the unknown.

Charles deGaulle
Hello Linda
"Watchman, tell us of the night."
The night is hard to see.
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see."

Those who are given the opportunity and freedom to follow a line of study as far as it can take them are blessed with the possibility of discovering areas of unrevealed knowledge and understanding, places no one has ever encountered before, where no one has ever been. Mathematicians, astronomers, physicists, those practicing on the esoteric edges of science, anthropologists, architects, composers of music and, yes, also poets, when engaged to their utmost, may reach the end of the traveled path, step into an unknown territory of discovery, put down a marker for the future and try to describe what they find.

I don't know much about science, but I know something about art. Every time I see "The Piano Lesson" by Matisse I am taken gently by the hand and led into a world of painting I know next to nothing about. That is even more true of Van Gogh's "Starry Night."

I have heard Beethoven's "Grosse Fugue" for string quartet many times and it is still a mystery. What was it that Beethoven saw in his deafness and what was he trying to tell us about it? In what far off land was Schoenberg when he composed "Verklarte Nacht"?

On what obscure mountain top was Shakespeare when he wrote "The mightiest space in fortune nature brings to join like likes and kiss like native things."? And what was he saying when he wrote to lead us there "Impossible be strange attempts to those who weight their pains in sense and do suppose what hath been cannot be." ?

Do not make the mistake of thinking that life hasn't equipped you with the right and obligation to venture into your own sacred areas of discovery. There is no way of knowing how far the path leads or how important it will be to others of what you find there. But it's your adventure to have and it's your discovery to make, and if you don't make it who will?

The air is thin and hard to breathe, the way is treacherous and the terrain frustratingly difficult to describe but though we may be standing on the shoulders of the great ones who went before us the experience of our own genius can only be won by moving off of the shoulders and placing a foot carefully but steadily down onto a step we cannot see.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never Give Up

1 comment:

Arlene (AJ) said...

As always an interesting and thinking read DB, thanks for all the thought and wisdom you bring to all of us.