Updated: Apr 6
The light came through the glass door this evening while I drank peppermint tea. Sophie tried begging for cartoons, but I insisted on Bach instead. This isn't because I am a good mom. No, she had already watched cartoons for much longer than the recommended limit because I was too engrossed in a philosophical psychology book to want to entertain her.
It's only now that I am repenting. I am laying out beauty like rugs of grassed earth. I am motioning for her to sink her toes in this moment, as she sinks into the couch, tilts her head to the rows of violinists tilting their bodies into their instruments. I don't sink into it. I google instead, "How are violins made?" The strings are made from sheep or cow intestines, the bow is made from horse hair, the body from a combination of spruce and maple wood. And from this a symphony is born?
I know almost nothing about classical music, which is why this interest began as an exercise in pious motherhood, forcing classical music into a toddler's ears like you puree spinach into their meals. I began by creating a youtube playlist called "morning music," filled with emotional performances to engross my highly emotional toddler. Soon I was on the couch with her, often crying. Then I was playing Beethoven on our google home while I prepared meals, or Bach's Mass in B minor on repeat, because it transformed my day in the most palpable way. I have felt like I stumbled upon a free antidepressant with no known side-effects, a natural enlargement of the day's atmosphere with meaning.
The music insists that this world matters, and infinitely. It sinks into my ears like a salve for original sin. I often write things before I know what they mean. So let me define: I believe that original sin is insisting on language over music, words over bodily speech.
I'm not sure if Sophie is convinced of anything. But she is attentive, and attention is the beginning of understanding.