Any journey out into the world of make-believe here in America, you know the one the media would have us believe is the “everyday” for everybody – where good paying jobs are like ripe apples falling from trees, landing in the unemployeds’ open arms; where vaccines not only prevent any type of health disorder but also bring on a state of total joy and heightened sexual pleasure; where pharmaceutical drugs will “cure” you of every imaginable ailment and never require another drug to counter the side effects of the original drug prescribed; where every boss you’ve ever had attained their position due to their extraordinary talents of managing unpleasant situations, dealing with co-workers bad hygiene issues, knowing how to do your job better than you and just, in general, having their shyte together on a daily basis; and every Hollywood gas bag is a beacon of right and proper behavior, both on and off the set – all these happy tidings of the way things are in America is an all-out, blatant bag of bird droppings.
Talk to any half-awake corporate worker and they either have the look of the walking dead or, on a good day, have a skewered view that they might be able to avoid the next round of company lay-off’s. Walk a downtown or busy street in your town, suburb or city and see if you can find anyone not talking with, conversing, texting, tweeting, listening to or communing with an electronic device. Even more telling, try to find one person reading a book, a real book – on the bus, train, subway or when at lunch, at the local designated green/concrete space amidst the depressingly ugly office skyscrapers. Most so want life to be something else. It isn’t.
Most of life is a shit-hole. Sorry. It’s one bad experience followed by another, with bits of happiness and tasty morsels of good times sprinkled about here and there…if you’re one of the lucky ones. If you live in a third world country, or one of the country’s on Washington’s hit-list for regime change – you don’t even get those tasty morsels of good times.
It’s a crock of shit and it stinketh mightily. No matter how many times you may nearly scream such a thought to your boss, boyfriend, girlfriend, BFF, sex robot friend, or disinterested life partner, chances are they aren’t listening and can’t make it better anyway. They have an avalanche of their own daily dung to get through – hearing anything from you – the employee, the concerned partner, the ignored lover is at the bottom of their daily “have-to’s”.
Has it always been this way? Seems so.
Take, as an example, Beethoven.
60% deaf by the time he was 31 years old. Completely deaf by the time he was 46. A musician, conductor, performer and above all, composer – and yet for most of his adult life, for all intent and purposes, he was without the one of the five senses he needed most. Obviously, he wanted life to be that which it wasn’t.
Fate, the gods, life, deplorable living conditions, illnesses – no one can truly attest to what brought on his deafness.
One of his most contemplative yet powerful pieces, his 7th symphony, was composed when when he was 42 years old. How does a person create such beauty with such limitations and suffering? We don’t know.
How does the person with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and so many other debilitating diseases live on, day after day – hanging onto life? We don’t know.
How does the single mother, the lonely, the homeless, the poor, the divorced and forgotten father, the malnourished child – how do they tackle each day and continue on? We don’t know for sure.
For certain, life’s many problems, so varied among us all, are not solved by the politician and their bag of lies and false hopes. They are not solved by government agencies that are supposedly there to look our for our well-being. They are not solved by the media’s distortions and propaganda. If any of them can ever truly be solved – we have our doubts.
Beauty, as we each individually find ourselves attracted to, helps us to maintain when we’re not being heard, helps us to understand when no one is there to understand and helps us to hear ourselves amongst the maddening insanity of the modern world.
If only for the initial 2 minutes of Beethoven’s 2nd movement from his 7th symphony (included below) put headphones on, gather yourself alone and listen. Hear what a 42 year old, nearly deaf man, composed for all of us. See how it might inspire you or at the very least, find a commiserating soul on this journey through life’s hardships.
Life is rarely what we want it to be…but for a few moments here and there, we have glimpse’s of perfect beauty. Sometimes and probably more times than we’re aware, such beauty is given to us by those who suffer the most.
Ludwig van Beethoven ~ Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92 ~ Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (2nd movement)
Photo credit (front page – Big Sur): http://www.unsplash.com/@kace
Photo credit: http://www.unsplash.com/@oldskool2016
Photo credit: Joseph Willibrord Mähler [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons