Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"Music is no more than a decoration of silence"

I have just been to a lovely series of concerts by students at the Royal Academy of Music here in London, hearing some of the most beautiful playing of music that I have heard for a long time.  There was one particular young Polish pianist, Martyna Kazmierczak, who enthralled me with the joy with which she played.  In her introduction to her pieces, she quoted an anonymous 15th century composer who apparently said that “music is no more than a decoration of silence”.

Somehow this resonated deeply with me, and set me thinking about my own work.  It made me wonder whether the same profound thought, slightly adapted, could not also apply to what I do.  Could one perhaps say that the span of human life, which can be seen as akin to a piece of music from its start, our birth, to its completion, our death, is indeed no more than a decoration of silence, an illustration of the Dao?.  We all emerge from the vast silence of the Dao, live the span of our life, and then disappear again into the vast silence of the Dao at our death.  It feels good to me to be able to say that what I do is then no more than a “decoration of silence”, and that by my work I make the silence of the Dao within each of my patients slightly deeper and slightly more pure.



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