Not Knowing
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I sit here reeling through my mind wondering what should be tonight’s topic and nothing feels quite right. It is interesting to be in the face of a challenge and to feel that the ideas surfacing are not adequate enough to serve the purpose of this blog. This is day 17 of a 90 day blog challenge I started on February 1st. There are many music topics that I have yet to touch upon, yet tonight something else is afoot. It could be the rain, that I’ve been up since before Sunrise or anything I suppose. Throughout the day, many musics have bounced across my ears and yet a lull is the loudest thing coming to me in this moment.

Recently when taking a leisurely walk with a friend, the two of us enraptured by all the incredible blossoms on display, a woman with her large Newfoundland dog noticed us enjoying the flowers and took up chatting with us. After a few minutes of pleasant exchanges she recommended to me the book, “Letters to A Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke. Fittingly, her last name was Friend. About a week later I sought it out and found the book with little difficulty. It seems appropriate to mention it now as every time I try to describe the feelings this book conjures, it leaves me fairly speechless. Rilke’s tenderness of voice channels something beyond the terms within which he is writing. I have never read a soul so well contained in an author’s words. To the art of not knowing, he gives us this:

“You are so young, so before all beginning, and I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. Perhaps you do carry within yourself the possibility of shaping and forming as a particularly happy and pure way of living; train yourself to it – but take whatever comes with great trust, and if only it comes out of your own will, out of some need of your inmost being, take it upon yourself and hate nothing.”

So maybe I do not need to know nor have a post that sums up a musical thought. Like Rilke so beautifully guides us here, John Cage also showed us with “4:33” that sometimes music is already there waiting for you to hear it.