Tuesday, May 05, 2015

All time is unredeemable

When I was 17, I would ride the bus up to the university. For art and culture. By myself. I'm not sure why I thought that would be a cool thing to do. Certainly I enjoyed it, but I suspect it was something I felt I ought to do, in order to become the person I thought I wanted to be.

I didn't tell any of my friends. I don't remember what I told my mother — she would've been supportive of the endeavour in theory, but horrified that I was going alone. I must've lied.

So I was 17 when I first saw Jean-Luc Godard's Prenom: Carmen. Which I'd wanted to see because I liked Carmen, the opera, the story. What did I know?

So I was 17 when I first heard Beethoven's String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, when I first heard it in a significant way. In that movie.

I was 17 when I studied T.S. Eliot's Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, and wrote a response.

I was 19 when I first encountered the Four Quartets. When I met David. When he brought me Beethoven's Late Quartets.

Last weekend I saw the Emerson String Quartet perform No. 15 in A Minor at Bourgie Hall. It was perfect.

It's one of the sexiest pieces of music I know, the way it breathes with exquisite anticipation.
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden.

1 comment:

Stefanie said...

I'd never heard it before. It's beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.