Looking ahead

I am listening to a nocturn in E-flat major by Frédéric Chopin, part of my Favourites stored on the Apple Music site, 245 Songs, 18 hrs. 34 mins. The picks are in some instances the product of maudlin recollection, but most commonly from whatever appeals to me on Apple’s algorithmic selections. I have abandoned the practice of maintaining a library of preferred albums.  Each time I do so (my acquisitiveness is unbreakable) I subsequently discover that my erstwhile favourites have piled atop one another and have been overtaken by random stockpile from the “Listen Now” feature on Apple Music. With so much from which to choose it quickly becomes apparent that saving things is an obstruction; that it is better to shed the burden and to look ahead. Nonetheless for the expediency of readily available music of choice, the Favourites are ideal.  I use it either at my desk or in the car.

It doesn’t surprise me to have chosen a select composition by Chopin for addition to my Favourites because he was an admirer of the piano and preferred salon to public performances. What does surprise me is that he had a romantic fling with George Sand.

Frédéric François Chopin (1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic period, who wrote primarily for solo piano.

After a failed engagement to Maria Wodzińska from 1836 to 1837, he maintained an often troubled relationship with the French writer Aurore Dupin (known by her pen name George Sand). A brief and unhappy visit to Mallorca with Sand in 1838–39 would prove one of his most productive periods of composition. In his final years, he was supported financially by his admirer Jane Stirling. For most of his life, Chopin was in poor health. He died in Paris in 1849 at the age of 39.

It breaks my heart that Chopin died so young; whereas George Sand (1 July 1804 – 8 June 1876) lived a comparatively long life. She failed to attend Chopin’s funeral.

George Sand was one of many notable 19th-century women who chose to wear male attire in public. In 1800, the police issued an order requiring women to apply for a permit in order to wear male clothing. Some women applied for health, occupational, or recreational reasons (e.g., horseback riding), but many women chose to wear trousers and other traditional male attire in public without receiving a permit.

Paroxysms of unique social behaviour are almost institutionally sanctioned among those who are artists. On the other hand the precision of commerce and politics does not afford or tolerate a variety of expression. As a rule the “classes” are segregated except for exhibition purposes (when the unobstructed objectives – the one social, the other retail – of the two coincide symbiotically).

The accidental nature of life has forever attached and amused me. I willingly and ambitiously reckon chance is my opportunity to explore and punctuate. It is the cards I’ve been dealt; it is my turn to play, to perform. Leaving an impression is not a particular element of my agenda but I am obviously aware that the written word is inevitably a history of minute measure whatever its character. The alternative to this idealized expression is the script arising from conduct and the spoken word both of which (except for the already renowned) are less frequently catalogued; or if at all, subject to the inherent prejudices of the writer and his or her audience.

So where was I?  It is easy to become distracted. During the time I’ve accounted these trifling particulars, a large flock of geese upon the placid river has come and gone. The suspected noisy departure was hidden from my attention by the Apple AirPods I wore to hear music (the Bose headphones needed to be recharged).

AirPods are wireless Bluetooth earbuds designed by Apple Inc. They were first announced on September 7, 2016, alongside the iPhone 7. Within two years, they became Apple’s most popular accessory. AirPods are Apple’s entry-level wireless headphones, sold alongside the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.

In the cosy and self-satisfied atmosphere about me late Sunday afternoon was the aroma of a homemade soup. It is the only advantage I distinguish for an adequate breakfast; namely, the burgeoning appetite for dinner. Always, it is the progression, the development, the unfolding. To attach oneself to anything but the changeable is an error. And as dreadful as some of those alterations may be, the superlative choice is always to move on, not shackled but inspired by the event.

I believe most of us – including Chopin and Sand – have learned to move on and look ahead. As uncomfortable and submissive as it may resound to do so, there is nothing to change the past. We can only recapture any lost flavour by spicing the present with our shameful resolution and comic fierceness.  It is this positive outlook upon the horizon which nourishes the process. How transparent it is otherwise to succumb to the monotony of repeated and meaningless elevation of things past. What had we thought would transpire? Was there anywhere a channel to the past? Was the object to punish the past?  And if so, to what end?

Allow me therefore to conclude this tiresome monologue by laying hold of one hour of this day as a hook to the future, a new mooring upon things to come. I won’t diminish this adventure by annoiting it with the oil of beneficence other than to acknowledge that whatever the outcome our strength derives from what we put in not what we take out.