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April 06, 2020


Lovely images, Beth. Have a meaningful Holy Week, with some good cheer despite all.

There is awareness and aliveness in your drawings and paintings. Gracias.

Thank you so much for the article about Holy Week.

Might there be a problem here? Aren't moments finite, equipped with a beginning, a middle and an end? Something we may contain and attend to. Whereas this moment does not have an end, may not yet have a middle. We hope to adapt and yet important elements may change within twenty-four hours. Add to which (depending on one's age) is the thought that death may a good deal nearer than we've ever previously experienced. If a prime minister can end up in intensive care ("As a precaution," says 10 Downing Street. "Ha," I say; that isn't what ICUs are for.) then the possibility becomes the new reality.

The last few movies of the Borderlines Film Festival overlapped the beginnings of The Plague. We attended them and they are now three weeks back into the past. Are we now free from the menace that went with those culture-seeking gatherings? Perhaps. But what about the mini-risks I've taken since?

Easter's importance in religious terms does not affect me. But Easter's general effect (A welcome bank holiday at a time when the world is renewing itself) is part of my upbringing. BBC Radio 3 will broadcast St Matthew Passion on Saturday; the baritone is Christian Gerhaher whose version of Du bist die Ruh has helped me as I've struggled. There's a mingling of forces here, typical of the world I try - but fail - to decode. Some things one grabs, others slide beyond one's grasp. Moments, I think, come later. I hope this doesn't sound argumentative.

A recent email from the music director of my public radio station included this remark: "I believe that sharing pieces of music that were written hundreds of years ago helps us take stock of the long view of humanity, and lets us know that this is just a moment in time that we will get through together." Very much in tune with Beth's usage of moment, which may seem like an interminable new state of being, but must eventually take its place among many other past moments, of variable subjective length.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.