The Music of Prose: Excerpt 2

From an interview conducted by Barbara Froman — the connection between music and writing. Full interview can be found here: https://barbarafroman.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/music-and-prose-dr-harrison-solow/

“I have a hundred books in my head and I’m not troubled that they all haven’t been or won’t be written. Timothy has a thousand songs in his heart and he is equally untroubled. We both feel, and I once had a beautiful friend who felt the same, that the real art is not recording the visible but perceiving the invisible. It’s a hard thing to say because it sounds a little pompous, but as this is my creed, I have no other answer. Singing and writing — and other arts — are simply manifestations of a larger mandate — one much more difficult to nurture and to fulfill.

My elder son, who is a prominent designer, said to me the other day when we were talking about the way each of us sees the world, “You look at the world as a writer” and I was surprised by the rapidity with which I answered him, “No, no — not at all. I look at the world as a priest and then, sometimes, I write about it.” I guess this means that I am a pilgrim-scribe. As I explained in the introduction to The Bendithion Chronicles, I am dedicated to, and on a quest for, the liminal, the invisible and the holy, which is best explained by this excerpt:

“And if illuminating this ephemeral and largely invisible panorama seems like an inconsequential or ignoble task, it might be well to consider this: millions of people dedicate their lives to making the invisible visible: archaeologists, astronomers, quantum/particle physicists, artists, priests, nano-technologists, physicians, nuns, microbiologists, filmmakers, rabbis, oceanographers, astronauts, psychiatrists and writers (and, depending on viewpoint, some people in other professions) — all in pursuit of truth, all on a pilgrimage to somewhere they haven’t been before. I just happen to be on the same pilgrimage.”

The hunger, the quest each of us keeps in his/her heart for our own purpose, then, is best fulfilled for some of us by the pursuit and not the chronicling of it — or the singing of it. If you gave Timothy an ultimatum either to live the life he leads in Wales with his animals, his emerald fields, his language, his culture, his friends — or his singing career, he would unhesitatingly choose the former. If I had a similar ultimatum, I’d do the same. Ironically, of course, that’s something to write about.”

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The entire interview can be found at: https://barbarafroman.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/music-and-prose-dr-harrison-solow/

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