the delicacy of beauty


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At this time of life I notice that I am continually drawn to beauty. Not only beauty, but often a delicate form of it. This is my attraction to poetry. Often when I get up I check the headlines via Google News, the New York Times and Washington Post. But I can hear an English teacher from my high school pointing out that poetry was more important than news. This has turned out to be true for me.

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I listen daily to the Writers Almanac. There’s a poem a day. Once in a while they pick a good one or one that I find attractive. Usually like so much I see around me the poems are pretty insipid. But I keep looking for the delicate beauty.

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I think my attraction to music has elements of this in it. I am interested in the delicacy of the solo piano, the solo harpsichord and chamber music in general. Admittedly I do play an instrument that can play loud and not at all delicately when I sit down to a pipe organ or an electric organ. But I notice that so far I have rarely drawn the big ensemble stops on my new Pasi. Instead I bask in the beauty of one or sometimes two stops at a time.

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I am thinking about Frescobaldi a lot. I didn’t bring my recently purchased historical annotated edition of his Fiori Musicali. I have much study to do about this work via this edition. However, he is still on my mind. The Fiori Musicali (Musical Flowers) turns out to be liturgical music. I am more interested in his vaster output of dances and variations. I think they will sound lovely on the Pasi. And delicate.

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I am attracted to the delicate skein created by an artfully contrived and well written novel. Over the years my initial impression of the complexity of the writers I love like Joyce and David Foster Wallace focuses into understanding this kind of writing as delicate beauty.

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All the more delicate in the noisy and flashy world I live in now.

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Getting away from my usual routine helps me look a bit deeper into myself and understand these sort of things.

Vacation is going good.

Can Jonathan Haidt Calm the Culture Wars?

There are some rumblings on the right that have caught my attention. Specifically the Heterodox Academy seemingly founded on the idea on the need for diverse and wide conversations. However this movement has not shaken the fuzzy idea of equivocating the evolution of free speech with the repression of real people (of color, poor people, gender diversity). So I read this article with an alertness for distortion. And there is distortion there. Academics as so bad at marketing and branding and they are often used. The recent addition of Bret Stephens to the editorial page of the New York Times is an example of good intentions gone haywire, since Stephens is not a clear thinker. Clear thinkers on the right would be helpful right now since the right dominates the conversation (they won, remember? and have been winning for a while).

Berkeley author George Lakoff says, ‘Don’t underestimate Trump’ — Berkeleyside

Nothing particularly new here, but it’s good stuff. Unfortunately Lakoff reminds me of Ed Friedman who provided brilliant insights to many levels of our society (government, military, church) only to be basically ignored as Lakoff is being ignored.

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