Saturday, March 17, 2018

I don't really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree.  I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible.  I can sit
on the top of the dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned.  I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.

-- Mary Oliver

Saturday, March 10, 2018

 . . . The little sparrow
with the pink beak
calls out, over and over, so simply -- not to me
but to the whole world.  All afternoon
I grow wiser, listening to him,
soft, small, nameless fellow at the top of some weed,
enjoying his life.  If you can sing, do it.  If not,

even silence can feel, to the world, like happiness,
like praise,
from the pool of shade you have found beside the everlasting.

-- Mary Oliver

Saturday, March 3, 2018

I believe in kindness.  Also in mischief.  Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.

-- Mary Oliver

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Lilies -- as tall as ourselves and more lovely,
   and full of fragrance, and long orange tongues,
      and those playthings the bees -- stood in

a neighbor's yard, a thick, ramping
   hedge of them.  You could not help but see
      that to be beautiful is also to be simple

and brief; is to rise up and be glorious, and then vanish;
   is to be silent but as though a song was in you only it
      hasn't yet been heard . . . .

-- Mary Oliver

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The moon floats above the pine trees
as you sit on the veranda in the cool evening air.
Your fingertips move lightly along the flute.
The melody is so lovely that it makes the listeners weep.
But wisdom's flute has no holes
and its ancient clear music is beyond emotion.

-- Hsueh-tou (980-1052)

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The fact that children make beautiful music is less significant than the fact that music can make beautiful children.

-- Cheryl Lavendar

Saturday, February 3, 2018

All of music is an attempt at communication between human hearts and minds; at the very minimum the creator reaches out to and through the performer, and both of them reach out to the listener . . .

-- Robert Shaw

Saturday, January 27, 2018

You and I are part of the universal orchestra that produces this music of heaven.  We are musicians as well as instruments.  When the essence of the Tao flows through us, soundless tones emerge to form a transcendent song.  This song is the purest expression of the soul.

-- Derek Lin

Saturday, January 20, 2018

This music of heaven is not sound as we understand it.  In it we can find rhythm, melody, harmony, and other aspects typical of music, but it cannot be heard.  This music finds expression in the beauty of nature, the birth and death of stars and galaxies, and the simple dignity of human ideals.

-- Derek Lin

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Silence plays for you the song of serenity and the sounds of stillness without speakers or subwoofers, CD players or iPods, microphones or musical instruments.  What is melody after all, but a series of notes framing the space between them?  Perhaps it is as rock star Sting says:  silence may well be the ultimate music.

-- Derek Lin

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Unless you believe in divine revelations, what I'm saying will sound like nonsense, but I believe that when God created the world, he created everything, so music is something that already exists.  You just have to be very still and hear it.  Plato believed that was the case.  I'm not being over-pious if I say to God 'Guide me, help me.'  It's a kind of prayer, so therefore writing music is a kind of prayer.

-- Sir John Tavener