I have not learned a new piece for years, but this Chopin waltz in A minor seems manageable. Perhaps I will play it for you, if I get it to a sufficient standard. It helps that it is so familiar: I have heard it many times, and its beauty echoes in my mind. Yet when I start to play it, hands separately, then hands together very slowly, I see what Chopin is doing, and individual chord progressions delight me. Then it is almost too much to play it at speed: there is too much going on, too much beauty.
In Meeting, I considered the fragility and strength, and beauty, of three daffodils. I have time, again, to see all the detail, which in days will be brown and cast onto a compost heap, and if it were not cut would do its task of fertilising and being fertilised, then change to something else. Parts of the waltz run in my mind.
I have the piano, Kate gets similar complete absorption in sewing, she says. Though that is not what I said: I said appreciation of beauty, not absorption, though I can get absorbed. And I could say, she gets the same appreciation of beauty, or sense of achievement, as probably she does, though she did not say it. Sue took her jacket off before meeting for worship, as she is intensely self-conscious of the noise and disturbance of it if she takes it off in meeting. But we can tolerate that much disturbance, and if we cannot- I hear it and get irritated and am no longer as gathered as I ought to be, then I wasn’t doing it right to start with.
I would like the calm, contemplative, loving state, but I consider Fred Phelps, say: yes, intellectually I can accept that anger at him is not the right response, that it simply perpetuates the anger and hatred he channelled so publicly. Yet instead I feel relief at his death, and horror that there are more homophobes where he came from. Thinking of him makes me feel tired.
I did not quote all of Psalm 139. Here is the end of it:
O that you would kill the wicked, O God,
and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me—
those who speak of you maliciously,
and lift themselves up against you for evil!
Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
I hate them with perfect hatred. As I understand it, that is not what I am supposed to do. But perhaps I am supposed to do what I will do, and all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing is well.