… and Then, the Sounds of an Aria!
Greetings to a future reader
We drove through heavy midday traffic in town and listened to the radio—and then, unexpectedly, there came the sounds of an aria as wonderful as only Italian composers and Mozart had created. The words were insignificant, but the sounds of the harmonies gave them meaning. I sensed joy, a bit of sadness, some light, and a resonance of my soul—if “soul” still exists in our modern world. There, they had composed this music some 150 years ago, possibly for a rich sponsor, had put the best of their sensitivity into those melodies, and created a gift for us in our time, in this remote town, far from their lives. If only we, too, could send some beautiful, comforting messages to a future world, rather than always struggle through daily insignificance. What would we want to communicate? Possibly some simple images of our time that have been overlooked by the media and the fashionable.
Are there sounds of idealism, sadness, love, hope to communicate from our lives?
Some adults sat around in a group and talked about their children, who had left college some years ago and were supposed to be successful in their own lives.
There was the mother of two children. Those children had joined a charitable organization out of idealism right after college and had moved to an underdeveloped country to help the poor. Now, they had returned and were having trouble finding jobs to build their own lives and start their own families. They had given the so-called “best years of their lives” for others. Who would help them now? If only someone could help them. But trust; they will succeed.
The other mother had a daughter who had studied art and had supported her boyfriend while he finished his studies. Once the boy had finished his studies, their friendship broke up. The pursuit of art had not yielded very much for that daughter either. Instead, she thought about opening a restaurant. Was that the outcome of all her youthful idealism and self-sacrifice in this world? If only she would find some light and happiness in her life. But the boy still loves her. Will they untangle the course of their lives and be married after all?
There was the old couple who still had to care for their much older parents who were not always modest in their expectations of care. What remained of a fulfilling life for them? Maybe just one quiet evening, just for the two of them to spend together in harmony.?
Do not let the light of your life be extinguished. Do not burn out. You have to be practical in this unforgiving world—where you need income for a life of freedom and dignity; where you have to set limits; but where human joy and warmth still gives deeper meaning to life.
Do not give up in your search for friendship and love, which support real life and make it tolerable. Just think that possibly tomorrow, possibly next year, but maybe only in five years, the fortunate change will occur. Life can last long and be full of surprises.
I know a couple that didn’t find each other until they were fifty. I knew a prisoner of war who only gained freedom after eleven years, but then lived the happiest years of his life with his wife who had waited for him. I know several young people, who, for some time, were quite unhappy and without success at their jobs, until the big opportunity came, which they were able to perceive and grasp. Or they were lonely until they found the right partners for their lives, and they now enjoy lives full of light and meaning.
One of them, warmhearted as he is, returns his late-found joy of life by contributing to others.
Can you not look beyond yourself to see the world in its varied dimensions? The world does offer joy. The view of some beautiful scenery, of a nice garden, or of just a few flowers is enough to experience joy. Sometimes it is enough to observe a busy street in a large city, to see some happy young people or some interesting older ones.
Just go out into life, into this colorful world. Participate in the joy of life. See the golden light of the morning, the brightness of noon, the mildness of evening. Look at the clouds and feel the refreshing rain. You experience more joy if you participate creatively.
Somebody received much help in his younger years. The helpers did not accept any compensation. Much later, this person met some young people who needed help to fix their car for their big journey. That person helped and did not accept compensation either. He asked only that the help be passed on sometime, somewhere, to somebody else. The young people drove off happily into the world, waving back as they departed. Where may this chain of helping be moving along now?
An old man checked his mailbox every day, waiting for a letter that never arrived. One day, he sat down in his garden. A small bird arrived and sang a beautiful song. The old man did not wait for the letter any longer, but he watched as the little bird found a partner, built a nest, and raised some chicks, which then fluttered happily out into their world. In winter, the old man provided some food to the birds, and waited for the next nests to be built in spring. Life has its own way of moving merrily on, but it follows its own path. Keep you eyes open for life.
And how about happiness, even exuberance?
A grandfather and grandchild were expected to go for a walk. The day was sunny and warm. The flowers bloomed in the verdant gardens, and the trees provided refreshing shade. The little granddaughter did not like to walk. She preferred skipping along. So she asked her grandpa, “Can you skip, too?”
“Let’s see if we can,” he said. “Look here!” And they both skipped happily along: forward with one foot, skip, forward with the other foot, skip. You could compose a little exuberant melody for that. They skipped along for the whole length of the block. Then they stopped to rest because grandpa was a bit out of breath, and they laughed and laughed for a while.
Can arias be noble?
Where is there still anything noble in our modern world? Is it not noble to forget selfishness for once? Is it not noble to have the good and beautiful in mind?
Thus, a child may do something noble, as an adult, or a politician, or a hero.
You can do something noble, now, by touching somebody else’s life and giving that person joy thereby.
Call somebody up, without any reason. Or send an e-mail, as is so easily done in our days—with just a few clicks.
I received the answer to one of my e-mails this morning. Actually, my e-mail had been rather simple. The answer was quite simple, too, but it came from the heart. Someone had understood me and had felt joy. And now, I feel joy, too. It was like a nice sound in the course of life—for just a moment—that still resonates.
This story is quite simple, too, but it also came from the heart.
Did it leave a sound? Did it possibly resonate for a moment? Was it the sound of love, a bit of sadness, hope, some light, even exuberance—the resonance of a long life?
Accept it as a gift of the moment. Then, sing your own aria.
Sing the song of your life, of warm love, of a little sadness, and of much joy—maybe you’ll also sing of a moment of exuberance.
Send it to somebody else.
Or save it somewhere, where a hundred years from now somebody else can find it and feel some joy.