I think what I have to say is basically "Wow!" to everything you wrote.
Sinéad I think says herself that most people know her only from the few seconds, a long time ago now, on the comedy/entertainment show "Saturday Night Live" in which, at the end of a song, she (not having letting anyone know this was her plan) looked into the camera, held up a picture of the pope, said "Fight the real enemy" and tore it into pieces. That's really almost all I knew myself about her until recently, though I remember trying to find some of her music once, wondering if I could figure out what was making her tick.
Interesting what you wrote about "resting your ears". I mostly don't listen to music myself at all, especially recorded or from the radio. Sometimes, a little. I don't think "quiet" is sad at all, though, necessarily. In fact I think it's sad that some people have such a strong need to be 'entertained' constantly. Maybe they're looking to see if they can identify with the feelings expressed? I think you can rest easy about the fact that you react badly to what's popular in music. Normal is nuts, in my opinion anyway. There are always bright spots though, lot of times in places you don't expect.
For someone to say "trauma has come and gone" is like saying "Yes, we've had many highly-trained experts studying this issue thoroughly for several years now, and the evidence obtained now strongly suggests that one plus one do not in fact equal two. Just like we thought." Science almost never goes in a straight line. But it doesn't matter. I don't think it will be scientists who fix things anyway. Just my personal opinion.
Fame is an odd thing. I think you're right, it can't fill holes. That's no reason not to try your best, though. Not to achieve fame, I just mean to be who you are and say what you have to say, do what you need to do to enjoy your life. One of my favorite guys--just based on stuff he thought and the way he lived--is a Japanese potter named Shoji Hamada. He's "famous" to at least potters, I suppose (of which I'm not one, though I messed around at it, some, for a couple years). But he'd say stuff like "It's better to be an artisan than an artist. An artist builds a house that lasts his lifetime, maybe a hundred years. An artisan builds a house that will last a thousand." I fix broken furniture for a living, by the way, and talking about good ways never to get close to becoming rich or famous.
AA is worse than a joke, despite the fact that I have yet to hear of any mental health care professional (or court system) not pushing it like it's the best thing since sliced bread. It is being shown to have a negative
success rate when compared to spontaneous remission. The entrenched idea that it "works" is just another
misconception that no doubt will fade away only after a period of furiously trying to deny the truth. http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-effectiveness.html
(I'm not much of a drinker, and never was except maybe in college, some, but MAN have I seen lives destroyed just on every side of me, some of them touching my own closely. I gave "al-anon" a try--it's an AA offshoot "for friends and family"--attended a dozen or so meetings. The people within it are no more evil than anyone else--they know it and I suppose this is where the fury to defend it comes from--but the premise it's based on is completely manipulative, you're right.
I absolutely don't know a thing about how to fix people. Wish I could offer something that I thought might work but I just don't know. I think not breaking them in the first place is a FANTASTIC way to head off trouble, and that's what I hope I can maybe somehow contribute to more than anything. It's a heck of a lot easier, I think, and suspect that in my case it least it could be the most therapeutic thing I can do for myself anyhow. Don't know, just guessing. I don't like pain at all, but while arguing with a (former) friend once about the usefulness of "medication" (I've not been 'caught', and I've never used any) I realized that maybe it was a GOOD thing that my toe hurt if some big jerk was standing on it. So beyond Miller's "face the pain" stance (I think that's fairly accurate isn't it?), and do whatever you need to do about it--push the jerk off your toe, in other words (if he won't get off once asked nicely), I don't know what else there is to suggest for those of us already in a bad way. It's easy to get angry thinking about how many terribly bad-off there are, though. If I include those who maybe suffer somewhat less, but deny reality even that much more, going around insisting "Oh there's nothing wrong with me at all--I'm 'normal'," I get so angry I could puke. I suppose the truth is that almost everyone is some blend of health and illness; it's not fair to paint anyone "all" one color.
I think there are no doubt famous people who lead lives that would have to be called "just fine". I'd suppose they wear their celebrity lightly, like a cap or like it's their job, and just take it off or set it to one side at the end of a day, knowing they're just like everybody else. Regular. I dunno. That's amazing that you were taught piano by Bergman's wife.
I think you're right about Freud and "intelligent" discussions resulting in further alienation from the truth. Miller just wrote on her letters page something about intelligence being too much just something that allows people to lie more convincingly.
Yeah I don't know about artists and the things they think or why. Seems like with writers there's a lot of procrastinating going on, like they almost
say something, a lot of times, and take thousands of words to do it, but couch whatever it is they're trying to spit out behind a "story line"...I don't know. Mostly as an adult I've found myself interested in non-fiction.
If you're saying music can be almost magical for the performer when done right and done in the presence of real people, I agree.
I envy you your experience with big bad church organs.
My history with the piano goes back to when I was four. After a few early lessons I stuck to it basically all my life, never getting past perhaps a first or second-grade ability to read. In high school I found a very nice teacher that never once let me hear her play what she was trying to teach me--she knew how I had been playing, so she thought I would 'cheat', picking up too much just by ear. I did what I suppose was normal stuff for a beginner, probably wasn't bad, but found my talent ended with trills and 64th notes--or whatever those ones are called that have about 40,000 little flags on their stems. Couldn't quite get all of Daquin's Le Coucou
, for instance, though sometimes I can play Iljinsky's Berceuse
pretty well I think. Three things about the (simplified version of?) the Moonlight Sonata
for me were the fact that I imagined I'd managed to own it outright--that I'd have it for life (I've definitely forgotten sections of it), 2.) how awful and strange I felt when it seemed to me my teacher at one point was fighting tears as I played, and 3.) how odd it seemed to be having a seriously deep, seriously dead guy talking directly to me through my own fingers as if he were sitting next to me. Since then I've learned that probably everyone who learns that piece goes through I suppose about the same thing. But back to what you were saying about rebels in classical music, one thing I still can play all right, on occasion, is an Alexander Scriàbine prelude--I still have my book, it says Op.11, No.2. The thing's weird as can be, but for me somehow it was a natural fit, despite it being in three-quarter's time. Sure doesn't sound
like a waltz! I stuck in sustain pedal wherever I wanted to simulate 'legato' (some notes were too far apart for that; my teacher said sustain pedal wasn't written into it but allowed me some anyway.) Well whatever. I quit lessons mainly because she wanted me to perform at a recital; I'd be the oldest there by years. So in addition to just general stage fright I'd also have to worry about being out-classed by people who could barely reach the pedals. So I went back to football after school, and killed guys instead, and did pretty well at it. Not many people have ever heard me play piano. I lived eight years, I think, in a small room in a piano warehouse/showroom, upstairs (up a long ramp, actually) and now have my furniture shop in the lower level of another. Some virtuoso with a complete handle on all the 64th notes just rented the 8-foot concert grand upstairs--I think it was called a "Haddorf"--Baldwin may have made it, not sure--and it's fairly old, fifty years maybe, but yeah sometimes there's just nothing like a good thundering bass.
what have they brought about, left behind them)??
I know what you mean. How about "Decoration"? Isn't that enough?
Stephen Stanislaus T.