A place for reflection and introspection, communication and thoughtful conversation.
Saturday, 10 April 2010
OLD AGE IN SPRING
“To know how to grow old is the master-work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living.” - Henri Amiel
Old age is something that we have to come to terms with if we survive long enough. Sickness is one of its attendant misfortunes and for some of us, these two ills will cause much pain and sorrow. What is the best season to die for an old sick man? Spring I think, for to die in such a glorious time of the year surrounded by the blooming flowers, birdsong, the warming sun and the promise of so much life bursting forth after the dead winter surely is a promise of a victory of life over death, of joy over despair, of healing over sickness?
Here is Edvard Grieg’s “Våren” or “Last Spring”. It rejoices in spring, but it is to be a last spring, for the poet knows that he will see no other. Between 1877 and 1880, Grieg produced a set of songs as his Op. 33 on texts by the so-called “peasant-poet” of Norway, Aasmund Vinje (1818-1870). The composer had been greatly inspired by the then-late poet’s verses, so much so that after completing the set, he decided to arrange two of its songs for string orchestra, this one The Last Spring and The Wounded Heart. The last Spring is a hauntingly beautiful and sad piece of music, but are not our sweetest songs, the saddest also?
The singer is the Norwegian singing sensation Sissel, who sings this song in a disarmingly simple and straightforward manner without a trace of sentimentality. Enjoy it!
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.