"Autobiographies of great nations are written in three manuscripts – a book of deeds, a book of words, and a book of art.
Of the three, I would choose the latter as truest testimony." - Sir Kenneth Smith, Great Civilisations

"I must write each day without fail, not so much for the success of the work, as in order not to get out of my routine." - Leo Tolstoy

I have never believed that one should wait until one is inspired because I think the pleasures of not writing are so
great that if you ever start indulging them you will never write again. - John Updike

"The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour
is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it." - J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Saturday, September 16, 2017

R.E. Slater - Love and Time Explored Through Prose, Video, and Poem

Love in Pictures

Love pictures our lives placed like mirrors facing each other in timeless, or endless, reflection played as unending symphonies expressing being. A being that is innumerably, relentlessly, persistently expressed against all else which would undo its hold.

Love's melody plays in the background of our lives. It's tempo threads throughout our identity, relationships, existence. It confounds the human breast unsure its truth but driven by its madness.

Within its mystery comes the crescendos and decrecendos of our lives. It persists, can destroy, wreck, or ruin us till in weakness we turn to its destructive force to rebuild, restore, absolve, and become.

In our becoming, love lives best even as it rends all else apart until a balance is found restoring our lives back to the sublime symphonies we bear heard upon the winds of creation and within our very hearts beating its mystery.

In both the pauses, and the sustained chords, love finds recreation - as it must - until all comes to rest within the bosom of its melodious nocturne.

R.E. Slater
September 13, 2017

Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in the Mirror)
for Cello and Piano (Arvo Pärt)

Spiegel im Spiegel ('Mirror in the Mirror') is a piece of music written by Arvo Pärt in 1978, just before his departure from Estonia. The piece is in the tintinnabular style of composition, wherein a melodic voice, operating over diatonic scales, and tintinnabular voice, operating within a triad on the tonic, accompany each other. It is about ten minutes long.

The piece was originally written for a single piano and violin – though the violin has often been replaced with either a cello or a viola. Versions also exist for double bassclarinethornflugelhornflutebassoontrombone, and percussion. The piece is an example of minimal music.

The piece is in F major in 6/4 time, with the piano playing rising crotchet triads and the second instrument playing slow F major scales, alternately rising and falling, of increasing length, which all end on the note A (the mediant of F). The piano's left hand also plays notes, synchronised with the violin (or other instrument).

"Spiegel im Spiegel" in German literally can mean both "mirror in the mirror" as well as "mirrors in the mirror", referring to an infinity mirror, which produces an infinity of images reflected by parallel plane mirrors: the tonic triads are endlessly repeated with small variations as if reflected back and forth. The structure of melody is made by couple of phrases characterized by the alternation between ascending and descending movement with the fulcrum on the note A. This, with also the overturning of the final intervals between adjacent phrases (for example, ascending sixth in the question - descending sixth in the answer), contribute to give the impression of a figure reflecting on a mirror and walking back and towards it.

In 2011, the piece was the focus of a half-hour BBC Radio 4 programme, Soul Music, which examined pieces of music "with a powerful emotional impact". Violinist Tasmin Little discussed her relationship to the piece.

* * * * * * * *

by R.E. Slater

Love transcends the dilation of time.
It moves and morphs
    by that aspect we know as relationality,
    so entwined within the fabric of creative chaos,
    whose entropy destroys all we had,
    or have,
    or will.

And yet love, like gravity,
    binds all time,
    across its spaces,
    whatever the time slice,
    whatever the moment,
    whatever the distance.

Love's pain is bourne -
    in the losses we feel.
It's relevance -
    in the groundedness we experience.
It's possibility -
    in the willingness to lose oneself in another,
    that it might be held briefly as a living thing,
    before becoming mere memory,
    leaving only lingering trace winds,
    of feeling and memory.

Love is the binding metaphysical gravity
of all human chaos-recreation.
    It transcends,
    it brings near distant objects,
    moves to action the necessary,
    and refuses any kind of objectivity,
    it is an elemental mystery.

Though the mind dissects it the heart lives it.
    It lives unnoticed most of the time,
    but its force overturns our lives,
    at every stage of our being,
    both the bad and the good.

Its force, like gravity,
    is seemingly weak in daily transactions,
    but is exceedingly strong across large distances,
    unrealized until we take the backwards look
    of introspection to life's biography.

Love is always present,
    yet, like the beating heart,
    or, act of breathing,
    unnoticed, until displayed.
It exists because we exist.
    And we exist because it exists.

Love is the breath of life
    we most depend, need, want, and crave.
Its addiction can do phenomenal things
    in the lives of those willing its power.
Its what we call God's image
    which we image back,
    to the Divine mystery,
    through ferocity,
    or, grief.

Love is,
    and its capture is what gives to us meaning.
Nothing else exists so pervasively,
    so powerfully,
    so beautifully,
   or, so independently.

Love just is.

Love is the why,
    the what,
    the sustenance,
    to all else.
Love transects all living
    or, future.

Love's process is unlike
    any other force we know,
    or will ever know,
    so complete is its knowledge,
    of both divine and human,

Love is us and we are it.

R.E. Slater
September 13, 2017

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