‘When rhythm has become the sole and unique mode of thought’s expression, it is then only that there is poetry. In order for mind to become poetry, it must bear in itself the mystery of an innate rhythm. It is in this rhythm alone that it can live and become visible. And every work of art is but one and the same rhythm. Everything is simply rhythm.’ (Hölderlin in conversation with Sinclair, 1804.)
As emo as it sounds, the weather was perfect yesterday to wander in the Père Lachaise cemetary;
SCIENTIST: Then we can’t really describe what we have named.
TEACHER: Any description would reify it.
SCHOLAR: Nevertheless it lets itself be named, and being named it can be thought about…
TEACHER: …only if thinking is no longer re-presenting.
SCIENTIST: But then what else should it be?
TEACHER: Perhaps we now are close to being released into the nature of thinking…
SCHOLAR: …through waiting for its nature.
TEACHER: Waiting, all right; but never awaiting, for awaiting already links itself with re-presenting and what is re-presented.
SCHOLAR: Waiting, however, lets go of that; or rather I should say that waiting lets re-presenting entirely alone. It really has no object.
SCIENTIST: Yet if we wait we always wait for something.
SCHOLAR: Certainly, but as soon as we re-present to ourselves and fix upon that for which we wait, we really wait no longer.
TEACHER: In waiting we leave open what we are waiting for.
TEACHER: Because waiting releases itself into openness…
SCHOLAR: …into the expanse of distance…
TEACHER: …in whose nearness it finds the abiding in which it remains.
(Extract from Blanchot’s L’attente l’oubli (1963) in The Infinite Conversation)
Following the winding ways of the Heideggerian landscape is by no means an easy task. We fumble searchingly amongst the shapeless forms of a desert in darkness. Huffing and puffing, we are close to surrender. Then along comes the poem by Rilke and sings:
Though swiftly the world coverts,
like cloud-shapes’ upheaval,
everything perfect reverts
to the primeval.
Over the change abounding
farther and freer
your precluding song keeps sounding
God with the lyre.
Suffering is not discerned,
neither has love been learned,
and what removes us in death,
Only the song’s high breath
hallows and hails.
(Part I, Sonnets to Orpheus)
And off we go again, to play on this tortuous way! hurrah!
Friday night with Prokofiev’s ‘Short Suite’ from Romeo and Juliet, Tchaikovsky’s ‘Violin Concerto in D major’, Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ and four flamboyant Russian encores. All performed by the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, together with 26 year old soloist Nikita Boriso-Glebsky and conductor – maestro – Yuri Simonov, at Cadgon Hall.
If there’s any experience which does truly explode the laws of cognition and ‘rivet’ us, as Blanchot would say, to the painfully bare but beautiful, essential truth of existence, it must be the experience of music.