Sound and Clouds and Thunder (23)

[On the importance of stars: If the road seems endless and your steps are faltering, look up. Which I don’t mean to sound quite so Hallmark, but what I definitely mean is that perspective matters. – Theodora Baka (Alceste) singing “Son qua stanco pellegrino” from Handel’s “Arianna in Creta” – Clip with thanks to thebarroque]

So we have survived a 100 days of 1461 days.

Feels much longer, doesn’t it?

The prospects of what power abuse and unsound decisions will likely lie ahead for the remaining 1361 are frightening. (as is the fear that we may become numb enough to accept things are normal. They are NOT.)

It’s a long, uncertain trek ahead. (The France results were not good, even if not horrible. Germany is coming up this autumn.) Incompetent people sit in chairs that should have kicked them out on Day 1. And yet we must keep walking (in a student discussion the other day, we talked about complacency, and one of my sophomores said “We take democracy for granted, and I never thought about how it can’t defend itself.”).

And to keep our walking (and protesting… and voting… and running for office… and telling the neighbor no when they go off about “Those immigrants!”) from being mere trudging along uncertainly, let’s take some Handel Mezzo Peace for the week:

Son qual stanco pellegrino
che nel dubbio suo cammino
muove incerto,
errando il piè.
Ma se poi si fa suo scorta,
face, o stella,
si conforta
e smarrito più non è.

(I’m like a tired pilgrim, stumbling as they doubt their path. But when the pilgrim that takes a torch or a star as their companion, there is comfort, and they aren’t lost any longer.)

I discovered Theodora Baka by sheer accident a few weeks ago (apart from recent disproportionate interest in one or the other Hellenic singing career) when I was listening to the entirety of thebarroque’s favorites playlists. This aria and this interpretation stood out like a slice of Arcadia (which would definitely be one of my Holodeck programs). So let’s take a deep breath, and we’re almost down to 1360.


4 thoughts on “Sound and Clouds and Thunder (23)”

    1. In posting, I thought how it’s rather Ps. 23 for agnostics- the universal search for a structure and perspective and hope.



      1. Yes! Yes I totally get that. And the ache in the music makes it not feel like easy pollyanna-ish triteness but hard fought, hard won, hard understood. The ache doesn’t go away (it’s still the valley of the shadow of death after all) but to not get lost in it….eyes to the stars.

        (my therapist would be so proud…)


        1. Wouldn’t want to put them out of business through music, but the hard-won, the appreciating something that is not perfect, for being perfect… That is important. Not the total reset, but a sync with one’s path, and then seeing the stars because of it.


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