the sublime

flower tote

“Beethoven is not only about suffering — it’s about many emotions, true happiness and ecstasy.”

Arrival at Temple after Pilgrimmage

“It’s not true that someone has to have been through extreme emotions to play the music, but you have to be able to sympathize and have empathy with the emotions. If I play a piece of Chopin or Schumann, it’s a one-to-one confession all the time, but with Beethoven, the slow movements are not so much a confession but more a kind of preaching. He has a bigger message about humanity. Earlier, I didn’t really understand and appreciate that expression.”
~Leif Ove Andsnes

Penitence -- Pilgrim in Tibet

“In a case like Schubert, who died at 31, he had enough sorrow for a lifetime. There is something about the subtext of his music — people say you have to suffer a little more.”
~Jeremy Denk

Rose sheet music

“Musicians often state that they should wait until they ‘have something to say’ before tackling pieces like Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’ or late Beethoven or Schubert, although for the pianist Richard Goode the phrase ‘having something to say’ suggests ‘an act of will — something extrinsic to a genuine involvement,’ he said.”
~Viven Schweitzer, Adapted from “Wait, You Need to Suffer Some More”

Prayer Flags in Tibet

“Which master managed, as Beethoven did in his late music, to weld together present, past and future, the sublime and the profane?”
~Alfred Brendel

horizon from plane

wanderlust quelled, paradise found

“… it hits me how much books and writing have fueled our shared wanderlust… A curious boy reads about deserts and dinosaurs and Eastern intrigue, and the man wants to go find them.”

“Unlike Bangkok, with its huge shiny malls stocked with Maserati dealerships and Starbucks, Chiang Mai retains a provincial feel, its walled old center woven with quiet, narrow lanes.”

“In a corner, a young monk with a saffron robe and a shaved head sits at a table. The Chedi Luang wat holds monk chats — a chance for monks and everyday folks, mostly tourists, to talk. ‘Lay people have a lot of problems,’ says the young monk, Pena Met, ‘but in the temple we follow the middle way, with less problems.’ It turns out he’s got wanderlust. He wants to talk to tourists, to learn English, to read books written in English; he has even downloaded TED lectures onto his computer to find out about other lands and other ways. Finally, he says it: ‘I really want to go to America!'”

Travel is all about stepping through gateways into other worlds, but usually just for a time. You drop in but climb out again. I’m about to leave. My father isn’t — he’s here on the ultimate travel journey, a one-way ticket.”

“… Presenting the world as a place of wonder to be dived into, not feared. To take big mouthfuls of the world. To be an opportunistic omnivore.”

~ Excerpted from Last Goodbye in Chiang Mai