An Equal Music by Vikram Seth

The ungiving pressure of our thoughts

Cling Eastwood once said: "I don't know if I believe in life after death. But I believe that you are meant to do your best with your life while you're here. As an artist you have a privilege to create beauty for others to appreciate..."
Cling Eastwood once said: "I don't know if I believe in life after death. But I believe that you are meant to do your best with your life while you're here. As an artist you have a privilege to create beauty for others to appreciate..."
But what is it... ' our best ' ?  Would we ever be able to chase up this illusive 'perfection', this feeling of complete satisfaction with ourselves?
But what is it... ' our best ' ? Would we ever be able to chase up this illusive 'perfection', this feeling of complete satisfaction with ourselves?
Watching the recent blockbuster 'The Black Swan' I realised that the real perfection is the confidence to not have to prove yourself anymore, just follow your intuition and your imagination will take you where no one else can go...
Watching the recent blockbuster 'The Black Swan' I realised that the real perfection is the confidence to not have to prove yourself anymore, just follow your intuition and your imagination will take you where no one else can go...
From the early beginnings humans have searched for a perfect beauty. Artists all around the world keep exploring a formula for beauty in all its variations.
From the early beginnings humans have searched for a perfect beauty. Artists all around the world keep exploring a formula for beauty in all its variations.
Back to the imperfect present we realise that the real beauty lies in all the randomness and imperfection all around us.
Back to the imperfect present we realise that the real beauty lies in all the randomness and imperfection all around us.
Listening to the Beethoven's Symphony No.9, the masterpiece of art, the endless chain of human desires, goals and humanity's potentialities projected in front of my eyes...
Listening to the Beethoven's Symphony No.9, the masterpiece of art, the endless chain of human desires, goals and humanity's potentialities projected in front of my eyes...
which have not yet been achieved...which we will never would be able to achieve...but nothing stop us from dreaming about the perfect beauty...
which have not yet been achieved...which we will never would be able to achieve...but nothing stop us from dreaming about the perfect beauty...
Some beauty is bedazzling-its self evidence steals your breath, knocks you off your feet, makes you feel so insignificant and small...
Some beauty is bedazzling-its self evidence steals your breath, knocks you off your feet, makes you feel so insignificant and small...
But appreciation of beauty can also creep up on you, makes you expand your horizon and takes you when you would never ever dare to go...
But appreciation of beauty can also creep up on you, makes you expand your horizon and takes you when you would never ever dare to go...
It can spring not from the grandeur of the big picture but affection for the small things and parts which give a place its heart.
It can spring not from the grandeur of the big picture but affection for the small things and parts which give a place its heart.
It can also be a taste acquired through experience, time, love and deepening knowledge...but don't make it your master, don't become its slave...
It can also be a taste acquired through experience, time, love and deepening knowledge...but don't make it your master, don't become its slave...
When the human appreciation of beauty and cultivation is mixed with kindness and curiosity, the result is an enlightened human being...
When the human appreciation of beauty and cultivation is mixed with kindness and curiosity, the result is an enlightened human being...
just the imperfect human being with an enlightened worldview and an uncommon openess...who knows the wind will blow and there is only so much you can control....
just the imperfect human being with an enlightened worldview and an uncommon openess...who knows the wind will blow and there is only so much you can control....
For thousands of years humans strived to build the best, the perfect place for themselves...They moved from the pyramid shapes to the great cathedrals of Europe, then came the first skyscraper in 1885, we keep going higher but what is the cost?
For thousands of years humans strived to build the best, the perfect place for themselves...They moved from the pyramid shapes to the great cathedrals of Europe, then came the first skyscraper in 1885, we keep going higher but what is the cost?
"After devastating droughts, floods shall ensue. Drizzles will thicken into ropes of water creating swollen tides of mud and slime on which no human foot will impress or squelch...from now on life shall begin again from below" (Jack Hibberd)
"After devastating droughts, floods shall ensue. Drizzles will thicken into ropes of water creating swollen tides of mud and slime on which no human foot will impress or squelch...from now on life shall begin again from below" (Jack Hibberd)
The imperfect human beings will be forced to start all over again...from the scratch.
The imperfect human beings will be forced to start all over again...from the scratch.
It will be a life that will demand endless patience and understanding, and strength.
It will be a life that will demand endless patience and understanding, and strength.
But for all that, it is going to make us better, more tolerant people and there is the REAL BEAUTY in that.
But for all that, it is going to make us better, more tolerant people and there is the REAL BEAUTY in that.
Core values are the most important thing about a person and includes being compassionate and loving to those closest to you...
Core values are the most important thing about a person and includes being compassionate and loving to those closest to you...
so when you violate that, you feel guilt and shame.
so when you violate that, you feel guilt and shame.
The BEAUTIFUL piece of art changes us by appealing to our own deepest values, it bringing us 'home' to what we really think is right and important in our lives.
The BEAUTIFUL piece of art changes us by appealing to our own deepest values, it bringing us 'home' to what we really think is right and important in our lives.
"It's just so beautiful," we whisper. We drop to our knees in humility.
"It's just so beautiful," we whisper. We drop to our knees in humility.
And nobody really wants to hurt someone they love. But the real BEAUTY in art and around us makes us realise that there are so many people and things in our lives that are precious to us and we have to stop hurting them at once....
And nobody really wants to hurt someone they love. But the real BEAUTY in art and around us makes us realise that there are so many people and things in our lives that are precious to us and we have to stop hurting them at once....
THE REAL BEAUTY...THE REAL PERFECTION...lies in everyday encounters in our lives..when we stumble on something that is all ours for a little while...
THE REAL BEAUTY...THE REAL PERFECTION...lies in everyday encounters in our lives..when we stumble on something that is all ours for a little while...
Some experience or place or person that speak to our soul. These are the special, the most BEAUTIFUL times. The times of belonging.
Some experience or place or person that speak to our soul. These are the special, the most BEAUTIFUL times. The times of belonging.
When we connect to that which effortlessly makes us feel most ALIVE..that is the time when we reached our PERFECTION, the most BEAUTIFUL moment that belongs to us...
When we connect to that which effortlessly makes us feel most ALIVE..that is the time when we reached our PERFECTION, the most BEAUTIFUL moment that belongs to us...
If I write down all the words of the world one after the other  and keep rewriting it to the perfection... I will not produce the PERFECT AND THE MOST BEAUTIFUL writing...
If I write down all the words of the world one after the other and keep rewriting it to the perfection... I will not produce the PERFECT AND THE MOST BEAUTIFUL writing...
If I write down few words  that speak to my soul that are nor beautiful nor perfect just mine... will they speak to you? Will the words call us to account? Will the words still stand?
If I write down few words that speak to my soul that are nor beautiful nor perfect just mine... will they speak to you? Will the words call us to account? Will the words still stand?

A TANGLED WEB OF MUSIC, BEAUTY, PERFECTION, LOVE AND DANCE....



Listen to this story

about strands of passion

that run through all our lives.



Do you get obsessed by ideas?

Is there a vision in your head?

Do you like to get things and all the details right?

Have you lost someone's touch and hearing,

smell and taste and sight?

Not a week passes when you don't think of her,

of him?

Too persistent a trace in the memory....



So take the opportunity to live

for a few hours

in another person's life,

to understand that there is no way back

and no way out.




Welcome

into a body and mind

of an artist.

His difficulties

of creating beauty

in music

are minored in trying

to find beauty

perfection

and love in his life.



Follow a lovelorn violinist from Rochdale

playing Bach and Schubert

in the dramatic settings of London

Vienna

and unforgettable Venice.

His work is governed by obsession

to produce a perfect piece of art.

The moment his bow comes down

on the string

he is transfigured,

his poetry

about loss and longing,

expressed through the power of music

is wonderful, light and profound.

His work is governed by obsession

to find the love of his life,

lost and nearly regained...



When he plays Haydn,

Mozart

Beethoven or Schubert,

he thinks of their city.

She showed him that city,

every step and stone,

and their music brings her back to him.

A deaf pianist,

who counts her blessings

to be able to hear

her inner original sounds.



She turns towards her violinist,

How wilful is our quest

for something beyond ourselves,

that we imagine,

with our separate spirits,

but are compelled to embody together.”

She smiles sadly and they start to play...



The waves of sound,

webs of sensation and emotions,

and through them,

through their music,

the spirit of a composer comes alive.

The spirit of someone

scribbling away in 1772

with a sharpened feather of a bird

these waves of perfect sound,

he can hear and she can feel...



A dying fall,

a rise

and then it all ends.

That was perfect,

let's do it again.”

She reads her violinist's lips.

For a few moments her face is lit,

too dimly for him to read much on it.

If it was perfect, since it was perfect,

it is certainly not to be done again.”



She turns away,

he stands in front of her,

so she can see his face:

Shall we continue to make music together,

nothing else,

to recreate the bonds of stimulation

and companionship

so long lost?”



She says nothing.

She seems to have sunk

into a world of her own,

to be remote from him...

But the music belongs to us,”

he shouts,

not realising that she can not hear.

What if we were not making love together,

we, whose blood beats in one pulse?”



Someone once disappeared

completely

out of my life.

Just walked out.

It took me years to,

not to understand,

but reconcile

myself to it.”

She looks at him,

her eyes full of perplexity:

The sound of your music

stayed with me,

but then,

I lost even that.”



She walks out

and he watches her

till she moves round the corner

out of reach of his eyes.



The sound fills the concert hall,

so familiar,

so well-loved,

so disturbingly and enchantingly

different.


He is in a world,

where he seems to know

everything,

and nothing at all.

The experience of their music,

the unprepared

for pain of it,

is something,

none of them

is likely to forget.


The sound fills the concert hall,

within a minute,

he has forgotten all resentment,

all rights and pleasures due to him.

They are irrelevant

within this lovely, vigorous music.

It is only

gradually

that he is able to see

things

through eyes less injured and less blind,

to understand how honestly

she has acted

and with what love.

To realise that

he might well lost her

through his own sudden departure

and silence,

long time ago.



The sound fills the concert hall,

now,

he can see them

becoming strangers,

thinking of each other

less and less

as the weeks pass,

and with the time,

drifting

entirely

out of each other's lives.



The sound fills the concert hall,

and yet he wants to imagine,

this is the phoenix which burned down

once before,

and this time has not risen.

Surely, what was lost,

so stupidly,

so swiftly,

and in so short time

can be retrieved,

redone,

brought to life once more...




The sound fills the concert hall,

he follows the music

where imagination

alone

could not have taken him,

at the intersection of the world

of soundlessness,

with those of heard,

of mis-heard,

of half-heard,

of imagined sound.

Such music is a sufficient gift,

why ask for happiness,

why hope not to grieve?



The incomplete, the unending, the imperfect music played by a human being,

it is a beauty beyond imagining,

the deaf pianist is playing.




Follow a thread

from an equal music

to an equal dance

of two ballerinas

in the Aronofsky's beautifully brilliant

and devastating masterpiece.

What will happen to you and your life

when you get completely consumed by art?



A white swan changes to BLACK SWAN...

rivalry and recklessness

a cruel competition

a fear of humiliation.

Anyone who fails

to entertain

is banished from the spotlight,

but you so desperately want to shine...




You begin to get more in touch with your dark side

and suddenly you realise

' A PERFECT BEAUTY IS LOST IN DARK'....





An Equal music by Vikram Seth

Ludwig Van Beethoven Symphony no.9

The Black Swan

More by this Author


Comments 19 comments

Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

The beginning:

Do you get obsessed by ideas?

Is there a vision in your head?

Do you like to get things and all the details right?

Fits me uncomfortably well..as for this wonderful descriptive chant,as a long ago performer,was etherialy delightful.;)


fibo777 profile image

fibo777 5 years ago

Beautiful hub and very nice illustrations. Thank you.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

I realized, just now how long my chant goes, on and on....very grateful to you both that you managed to read it until the end...and survive..intact..thank you guys for your kind words...love and peace and a lot of creative force...from Beata


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India

I loved the book, Beata and I love the way you've presented the thoughts in it - through words and pictures!


Dian'swords4u profile image

Dian'swords4u 5 years ago from North Carolina

Very interesting hub. I saw myself in some of this. Thanks


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

I enjoyed the comments you added to the beautiful pictures, Beata. I wished that the music had been on the hub so I could hear it as I read. I went and listened to it and then came back. I feel what you wrote and have experienced it, yes, - but no longer feel the pressure. I work toward excellence but perfection is not a goal - it is too static, too "finished", no longer NEEDING anything, in other words, dead. It is the friction and struggle which call us to LIVE, but it need not be in a constant pressurized condition.

In view of your last comment on the photos:

"If I write down few words that speak to my soul that are nor beautiful nor perfect just mine... will they speak to you? Will the words call us to account? Will the words still stand?"

I would say yes and no or no and yes. And I would ask "account for what?" "still stand where?" It assumes too much pressure which is all in one's head, methinks.

I loved this and I will come back and read it all again. It is deep.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Just as you said...Nellieanna, too much struggle in one's head, I am not going to write any more as I feel I have put too many words on the paper already...how to reflect on many issues that trouble your mind without becoming lost and tangled in words...now that is the answer on your question...

Will the words call us to account?....Not if we use them sparsely and wisely so they do not loose their appeal...

Will the words still stand? ....Words will stand only so high....all depends on the meaning and thoughts they uphold....


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

I was set adrift with your words, the music played in my head as I read this brilliant work of art written with a sharp quill of a birds feathered wing in great detail and from your heart.

I felt their passion in the stillness of deafness and speech. Two people in sync with each others music and soul. All the pictures you included in this piece were exceptional and fitting. I write mostly from the dark side of my past, my younger years, my turmoil and strife of living in a dysfunctional home where alcohol and anger flowed along the same destructive path.

Yet I was saved by an Angel who picked me up brushed me off and taught me the finer things in life and educated me. Thank you for this wonderful scribe, I was very moved, now I must go listen to the compositions in real time:0)


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you dear 'Saddlerider1' for visiting me:) The same like you I left my dark past behind and try to look for beauty all around me..once you open your eyes it is everywhere...I also write little bit about my past: http://universalandparticular.wordpress.com

Thank you for visiting me so quickly, happy to have another soulmate to read and share my thoughts with...all the best from Beata


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

Thank you for your kind words, yes there is beauty all around us, we simply must open our eyes and stay focused on the good and show love where and whenever we can. Thank you for the link to your wordpress.com site. I will have a look. Peace and hugs.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

Wow! Rarely have I seen such a profound Hub. Thank you very much this pleasure. I enjoyed this. Well done!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you James and happy to share:)


capncrunch profile image

capncrunch 5 years ago from New Orleans

Yes. The words will still stand.. Very beautiful and inspiring hub. It is quite captivating. I felt it was music to my ears as well as soundness in my heart.

We all need to stop and take notice of the beauty around us. Beauty is all around and sometimes right next to you but by the time it is realized it is gone. We still have our memories.

I love hubs that cause me to think as yours. Thank You


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

To me this was the story of two lovers and music was the relationship with the stage being the world that it was played out upon. You use of the concept of music as the emotion of love was very intriguing and gave the concept substance. Yet, in the end, as much as we can relate to someone and think we are in love, love is a fleeting thing which is lost in the roar of the crowd watching the performance upon the stage. I hope I did not miss the message too much. WB


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you my dear hub followers for your beautifully crafted comments, that extend my reflection to another level...one beautiful aspect of creative writing is that it never ends and each of us can write their own endings...there is no right or wrong answer to what we take from story, from music, from art in general:)

Thank you again, your comments made my heart sing....


Lady Wordsmith profile image

Lady Wordsmith 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

Your hubs are stunning Beata. You are incredibly observant, and the way you put across your thoughts and feelings leaves me a little breathless. Your work is beautiful, truly.

Linda.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

thank you my dear Lynda for your warm and encouraging comment, I have already one great hub friend, Linda is also her name and she was my first hub friend who encouraged me not to give up on my writings...I am very lucky to meet so many kind and beautiful Lindas:)


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 5 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

Wow! What feeling! As both a musician and a writer, I relate! Best to you and yours!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you Denise, I am not really a musician but appreciate and love music, especially classical and jazz, I have many, many friends among musicians so that maybe helps:)

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