Friday, February 13, 2009

touching greatness

why is it that when we have an experience with great art, soulful music, incredible athletic prowess, pure physical beauty, or some other such entity, our reaction is so intense?
my pulse can race, or my mind can go completely blank. sweat may break out on my skin, or my heart might swell and burn brightly in my chest. I may be stunned speechless.
regardless of which reactions I may have, they are intense and deep.

I think of time spent in museums in italy, staring at pieces of art that are almost inconceivable, yet obviously conceived beautifully and against the odds. sculptures: how does an artist uncover the hidden shape within a chunk of marble? intricately woven pictures that have depth and light and power.

brahms connects with my soul: the beautiful melodies and haunting harmonies send my soul to a peaceful place where there are no frustrations, no concerns, no have-to's. beethoven's symphonies: for each one of those instruments to interact so simply yet intimately with the others causes me to stew in wonderment of the amazing process of composing such a piece of music.

to watch an athlete at the peak of his or her power and performance, to see the flex of muscle and gleam of sweat, to gaze with awe at their exceptional ability to swoop, to soar, to run, to excel at whatever it is they attempt.

these moments we touch greatness, and they send shivers to my core. these are moments of intense vitality, when the life within me jumps and strains to reach the level of the lives lived by the authors of these great works or acts. the existence of these works of art or acts of agility proves to me that we all have access to greatness. within us, or without, we can still touch it and let it resonate with us. let it empower us to connect just a little more deeply with our own strength and power.
let those moments connect us with each other, with the intense, unlimited potential of being human.

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