Symphony of Parts

| By Paul | | Comments (7)

Hydrangea

In an earlier image of a cobblestone path, I was reminded of internal order that is sometimes needed in order for many of us to move forward. Several of you remarked that the image was too "regimented", "trapped" and "constrained". So, I followed up that image with one showing masts and rigging from a tall ship. That didn't sit very well with me.

The other day, I saw the Japanese film "Departures" which won this year's Oscar for best foreign film. It was extraordinary on so many levels. I guess I was feeling particularly "open" while watching it. In the beginning, the hero was playing cello in a small orchestra. They were playing Beethoven's 9th Symphony, the one which ends with the famous majestic chorus. If you listen to the whole symphony, you will know that the main melody of 15 simple notes is present throughout the entire piece and only in the end are you treated to the full glory and majesty of that simple melody.

I was sitting there and thinking to myself, "This is the metaphor I want to use for parts of my psyche!" It's better than cobblestones and better than sailing rigging.

There are two components to the metaphor. The first is the majesty of the piece and the choral crescendo towards the end. This is a celebration! It's saying, you have this very simple set of 15 parts (notes) and you work with it (or play with it) throughout the 55 or so minutes of the entire symphony, exploring every possible combination of what these 15 parts can do. In the end, quite suddenly, you are treated to something quite remarkable. Who would ever imagine that ending? Who would ever imagine that 15 simple notes would yield such beauty and power?

The other component has to do with the members of the orchestra and chorus. There are so many, and each contributes to the glory of what this piece is about. They each play their own part, but when put together they create beautiful music.

I was out in my garden today, thinking about this musical metaphor and wondering what kind of image I could put with it, when I happened on these "annabelle" hydrangeas. They look, more or less, like an orchestra to me, a "symphony of parts."

The past few days have been horrible for me. I had planned to go into the hospital. But I decided against it today. Instead, this was what I did. I thought of the symphony. I looked around me. I listened. And I felt better.

I've also included a high resolution (1920 px) image. Technical information: Nikon D300 camera with Tamron 90mm/2.8 lens, 1/200s and f/10.

7 Comments


Ivory said:

I hope all is well, or at least better this evening. I hate the thought of you going into a hospital. I know it can help you but that is also one of my greatest fears. Tomorrow, worry will keep you in my thoughts all day.

The flower is beautiful. My mother had a flower garden and you are right, flowers are like symphonies. In fact, now that I say that - most of the first Saturday morning cartoons were musicals (of sorts) and the flowers were the characters and the strongest parts were the strings and woods. Oh, that is a wonderful memory!

Paul Author Profile Page replied to Ivory:

Thanks, Ivory, for your concern. I actually had a really special last evening. I slept wonderfully. I think it was because I accepted inside and took care of younger parts. Tonight is not measuring up to that. But, oh well! I'm glad I helped bring back a good memory for you.

Kate said:

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the images and metaphors. They are lovely.

For the longest time we have used quilt and tapestry to describe how we feel. But now we are thinking it might be nice to look for a metaphor from nature.

One that we have always liked is leaves on a tree, all of them are connected to the core of the beingness of the tree while still being leaves. This afternoon we took a mile bike ride to the nearest lake and rode around that. Tons of leaves all over the place. I made a point of looking at individual leaves, they are so beautiful.

Good and healing thoughts to you.

jahda said:

Love the metaphor! Now I am very much inspired to sit down with that symphony again and listen with this in mind. I never really thought of comparing the mind parts to a musical composition, but it makes perfect sense.

Thanks so much for the inspiration, Paul, I'm really looking forward to this!

castorgirl said:

Hi Paul,

(((warm safe hugs))) only if they are wanted. It sounds like you've made some courageous steps over the last few days :)

I love this metaphor! Complexity hidden within the appearance of simplicity. Working in unique ways to reach a point where everyone is contributing towards the chorus. Although at times it feels more like we're playing the slightly off sections of "My Mistake" by Split Enz; rather than the well orchestrated Beethoven. Possibly it could be that some of us are playing country, some classical, some heavy metal and some alternative - we need to agree on what sort of music we want before we can get to the beauty you describe.

Take care

gracie said:

The analogy with Beethoven's 9th is superb and beautiful and appropriate. I can understand how your thinking of such a thing would make you feel better in yourself/ves.

I love hydrangeas. Thanks for the beautiful photo and the metaphor. I think it's a good one.

I'm sorry you felt bad enough to consider going into the hospital. I'm almost there myself, but there is nowhere anywhere near where I live that wouldn't be worse than NOT going in. I hope you are continuing to feel better.

Thanks so much for your supportive comments at my blog yesterday. I appreciate it a lot.

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This page contains a single entry published on July 20, 2009 11:20 AM.

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