Sunday, March 30, 2014

John Cage's 4'33"

The postmodern composer John Cage put out an interesting composition in 1952: 4'33" (four minutes, thirty-three seconds, or just four thirty-three) is four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence; you can go on YouTube and watch a man sit at a piano for the entire length of the composition. The idea was that we don't listen enough to the sounds of the places where we are, that there is music wherever we are and that we just have to listen to it.

Cage has a wonderful quote attributed to him: "I have nothing to say and I'm saying it." It is remarkable how he has such a unique (postmodern?) view about things. The traditional (conservative?) view holds that that which is not worthy of being said should not.

Unfortunately I find my blog at a difficult crossroads of sorts...I am running out of time to post and when I do, I don't have anything to post about. Fortunately, this is not a blog about sports or games or art -- it's a blog about me. It is strange to see the ways in which I have changed (and not changed) over the years (you could call this a poorly-kept diary; you would not be wrong). Five years...

It seems that I have reached the end of my (creative?) limits, however. It is now almost April, and I have not posted since February; I have not posted anything of substance since...August of 2013? That long ago? That's half a year. I have nothing to say, and I know not whether I should continue to "say it" or whether I should cease and be quiet.

Musa, mihi causas memora...

I suppose that is a simplification; I have plenty of things to say, just not necessarily things I wish to post online or make public.

The human psyche is a wonderful and vast space, wonderful to describe and easy to get lost in.

I have nothing to say...

...I suppose that is not entirely true. Over the last five years, I have transitioned from being loud to being quiet. There's not true change here, I suppose. I have always been introverted, but I have gone from wanting attention to avoiding it (I shudder to recall all the posts that I deleted during the Great Purge of ATWC...why I put them up in the first place I don't know).

I suppose there is one change. I have become increasingly bitter as I have aged -- ah, no, bitter is not the right word. Mature, perhaps. I have become increasingly aware of the reality around us, and I know not whether to be heartened or discouraged by it.

It is saddening(?) to look back at some of the older posts and read over what I thought then. Truly, a different person was sitting at the computer back in 2008 or 2009 than the person sitting here now in 2014. Oh, how the times have changed!

I remember.

What a fascinating line [from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act II Scene I]. Oberon reminisces about something in the past, and Puck has this beautiful response: I remember. There is such weight in it -- what a lovely response. An element of age, wisdom, and beauty, but more than that. There is a heavy, dark side to it -- yes, I was there, but no, that which once was cannot be any more. I remember.

Looking back over this blog (and I haven't forgotten it -- almost every day I remember this blog, wondering if I have the time or the content to post -- I don't, a painful reminder) has made me remember. It has made me realize that I had nothing to say when I posted back then -- I certainly thought I did!-- but I said it anyway. Now that I realize I have nothing to say, I don't know whether to continue or to cease.

I am confident that I am either far too old to be a post-modernist or far too young.

I have nothing to say and I'm saying it.

What existential bravery!

I remember.

And how time conquers us all.

Musa, mihi causas memora...

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