An Equal Music is a great book. Not only does it make an excellent intellectual fare, but it also serves as a compendium of music and painting- if you have google by your side.
And thus from Beethoven Opus 104 to Carpaccio’s paintings- one ends up amazed, seeing the comments of all those readers who were led there by Seth himself. From George Herbert to Andrew Marvell, the cues are many, scattered liberally with a sly wit. I was amused by his protagonist’s comments about a few unfortunate greats including Wordsworth and Shelley who waxed lyrical about larks, apparently not suiting his taste (O Fearless Dude!)- well, it has been a meaningful reading experience.
” A chestnut in noisy leaf”, left me stunned. ..” huge green sand turrets of topiary”, made me investigate assiduously. Then there was a bird cooing fatly somewhere… 477 pages of emollient loveliness. Truly soothing enchantment.
The Rivered Earth was my introduction to this writer unlike the normal route. How great is human potential, I reflect, on closing An Equal Music.
When we tend to shrink into our own tiny cubicles of selfhood, it may be worth while to explore the magnificence out there. Yes, there can be human beings whose days start and end with a musical instrument. There are those who spent whole lives creating paintings. Those who follow the light of words and sentences into higher vistas of experience. Those who may choose a different music altogether. Extending the metaphor- how many diverse paths of seeking knowledge exist!
Sighing that this reading adventure had ended, from amidst the unread ones hoarded from an old book fair, I pick up the autobiography of Joan Bakewell. Ahhh…the sixth paragraph in her prologue- here comes Vittore Carpaccio again. Venice’s great painter had skipped gently from An Equal Music into this one. Not a Maltesian dog to look on knowingly by St.Agustine’s side, but it is The Dream of St Ursula instead.
I can only stare at the blue sky in reverence, at this small magic that has been displayed naughtily, as if to remind me of that Higher Divinity which empowers all our thoughts and dreams and music.
Lead thou me on…