Beauty tagged posts

Here Then Gone: The Short Half-Life of Ecstatic Moments

 It was one of those Moments. The daylight waning, the sky a magnificent stew of cirrus wisps both vertical and horizontal to the west and south, stratus puff balls north and east, the trending-toward-full moon already up and peeking from behind the latter.

At that still-point dusky moment transitioning from day to early eve, with the world perfectly poised between its in- and out-breath, the color palette of pale oranges, golds, purples, pinks, magentas and more seemed both fathomless and intoxicating.

And then came the geese.

They were in their classic extended V formation, winging southwest towards their home in the Laguna de Santa Rosa after their usual daytrip to the cozy confines of Spring Lake Park, where I assume they came across plentiful tasty creatures to slide down their impressive gullets. (“Oh, to have a neck like that,” I hear every model and ballerina in the world sighing…)

And mere ...

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Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto

Thirty years ago, the scientist, physician and essayist Lewis Thomas published an essay, Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, that concluded his best-selling book by the same name. Just like Mahler’s symphony, the brief (1,200-word) essay had a haunting, luminous quality. The difference was that Thomas juxtaposed Mahler’s themes of human mortality and its attendant melancholy with the sustained buildup of nuclear arms through the height of the Cold War in the 1980s.

Facing personal mortality can of itself entail a kind of somber acceptance and beauty, Thomas suggested, especially when conveyed with the profundity of a great composer writing for an orchestra...

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