amare "to love"

Today I am planning to do more relaxing, reading and practicing.

My blood pressure seems to have dropped back into reasonable low readings. I suspect this might be connected to my intentionality around relaxing.

Or maybe not. Who knows?

I was surprised by a lovely passage at the end of Adrienne Rich’s essay, “A leak in history” as I was reading this morning.  She talks about the loss of “vitality in everyday life,” the loss of people doing things they are good at simply because they love it. She goes on for a page or two about music.

After my mid-life crisis (where I turned to doing more things in life because of passion), I quietly began to think  of myself as an amateur, that is, one who does something for the love of it.

amateur (n.)
1784, “one who has a taste for (something),” from Fr. amateur “lover of,” from L. amatorem (nom. amator) “lover,” agent noun from amatus, pp. of amare “to love” (see Amy). Meaning “dabbler” (as opposed to professional) is from 1786. As an adjective, by 1838. from Online Etymology Dictionary.

This notion was resisted by my colleagues who persisted in seeing themselves and me as skilled practitioners of our art.

But on the side, I knew (and know) that I do what I do out of sheer love of it

Rich ends her essay this way:

“To ears accustomed to high-technology amplification and recording processes, the unamplified human voice, the voice not professionally trained, may sound acoustically lacking, even perhaps embarrassing. And so we’re severed from a physical release and pleasure, whether in solitude or community—the use of breath to produce song. But breath is also Ruah, spirit, the human connection to the universe.”

I know this is a bit harsh even a bit pretentious (“Heavy, heavy, dude”). But I still find it beautifully said. And I also know that ears of listeners accept a wide range of sounds these days: “singers not professionally trained” may even tend to dominate many recordings.

But the idea that something is missed out on when one doesn’t do the singing or the music or the art or the dance is the thought that continues to echo in my head.


In Brazil, Violence Hits Tribes in Scramble for Land –

More indigenous people make way for civilization.


Cathedral Renamed –

Catholics take over Crystal Cathedral. It will be called Christ Cathedral. Fitting somehow. Schuller the founder of  the Crystal Cathedral hales from holy old Holland Hope College.

Plus Crystal Cathedral apparently moves to a Catholic church site.

God is good.


From Peace Prize to Paralysis –

Memorable quote from Kristoff:” [W]e have the spectacle of a Nobel Peace Prize winner in effect helping to protect two of the most odious regimes in the world.”


The G.O.P.’s Gay Trajectory –

This proves my bias that being gay doesn’t mean being anything other than being gay.


His story, our story –

Simon Schama on Shakespeare.


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