Today is my 60th birthday, August 5, 2020
To celebrate I’m sharing this short paragraph which is the ending of Dino Buzzati’s first of his Sixty Stories: I sette Messageri (The Seven Messangers) and a couple of inspiring excerpts by David Dunn.
Un’ansia inconsueta da qualche tempo si accende in me alla sera, e non è più rimpianto delle gioie lasciate, come accadeva nei primi tempi del viaggio; piuttosto è l’impazienza di conoscere le terre ignote a cui mi dirigo.
Vado notando – e non l’ho confidato finora a nessuno – vado notando come di giorno in giorno, man mano che avanzo verso l’improbabile mèta, nel cielo irraggi una luce insolita quale mai mi è apparsa, neppure nei sogni; e come le piante, i monti, i fiumi che attraversiamo, sembrino fatti di una essenza diversa da quella nostrana e l’aria rechi presagi che non so dire.
Una speranza nuova mi trarrà domattina ancora più avanti, verso quelle montagne inesplorate che le ombre della notte stanno occultando. Ancora una volta io leverò il campo, mentre Domenico scomparirà all’orizzonte dalla parte opposta, per recare alla città lontanissima l’inutile mio messaggio.
da I Sette Messaggeri, in Sessanta Racconti di Dino Buzzati • 1958
An unusual anxiety has been kindling in me for some time in the evening, and is no longer regretful of the joys left, as happened in the early days of the journey; rather, it is the impatience to know the unknown lands to which I am heading.
I am noticing – and I have not confided it to anyone so far – I am noticing how from day to day, as I advance towards the improbable goal, an unusual light radiates in the sky which never appeared to me, not even in dreams; and how the plants, the mountains, the rivers we cross seem to be made of an essence different from our own and the air bears omens that I cannot say.
A new hope will draw me tomorrow even further ahead, towards those unexplored mountains that the shadows of the night are hiding. Once again I will raise the field, while Domenico will disappear on the horizon on the opposite side, to bring my useless message to the distant city.
from The Seven Messengers, in Sixty Stories, by Dino Buzzati • 1958
I wonder if music might be our way of mapping reality through metaphors of sound as if it were a parallel way of thinking to the visually dominant metaphors of our speech and written symbols. I think that most musicians can relate to the idea that music is not just something we do to amuse ourselves. It is a different way of thinking about the world, a way to remind ourselves of a prior wholeness when the mind of the forest was not something out there, separate in the world, but something of which we were an intrinsic part. I think music may be a conservation strategy for keeping something alive that we may now need to make more conscious, a way of making sense of the world from which we might refashion our relationship to nonhuman living systems.
Personally I believe that we have yet to articulate the importance of music and the immense cognitive and social terrain that it addresses. The fact that we have yet to discover a human society without it says something very profound. Recent discoveries about the ability of music-making to alter the very hard-wiring of brain development say even more. I have a gut intuition that music, as this vast terrain of human activity and inheritance of our species, will provide us with clues to our future survival and that is a responsibility worth pursuing.
David Dunn, from Nature, Sound Art and the Sacred (1997)
Music is one of the best means we have for “thinking” about and describing the fabric of mind that resides everywhere but nowhere. It is one of the most direct methods we have for experiencing and practicing participation in a larger system of mind, redefining the boundary of self to include larger pathways of coupling with other autonomous worlds. While music evolves with us—and is without doubt a measure of what makes us human—it may also be a measure of how we can remain connected to larger patterns of life and mind, and a measure of what we have yet to imagine ourselves becoming.
David Dunn, from Listening to the Soundscape And The Necessity of Double Description, (2010)
On this day I hope that some day, sometime in the not too distant future, we will all be able to live in a world where at least some more peace, equality and solidarity will have regained strength around the whole planet and its full biosphere and inhabitants; a world breathing with joy, resonating within collective empathy and love, a world we would and should be able to sustain, cherish and fully enjoy as a real and beautiful treasure and gift.