Celebrating beauty slowly

Today is a festive day in my country – its 99th birthday. I have to admit that I am not a big fan of massive celebrations, so I did not go out to any public events and yet the mood was uplifting all thru the day. It was asking for something special. And what’s most special for me about my country? Without a grain of doubt it’s people whom I love not only to the moon and back, but all across the vast space. So what I did was call my brother and my best friend to invite them for a trip out of town to enjoy the beauty of winter while its still here. It didn’t take any convincing and soon enough we were all in the car heading towards winter wonderland.

As we were riding and chatting my brother told how earlier this week he took an interview from one prominent and truly inspiring Lithuanian conductor Donatas Katkus. A few details he mentioned from their talk were suffice to catch my attention. I promised to listen to the whole interview recording once we come back. So, after our lovely après-midi en plein air, when we hit home all happy and refreshed, I took some time to dive into the interview. That was one entertaining plunge into the reality of a joyful artistic soul.

As I always do while listening or reading interviews with people I admire, I was looking for some pearls of wisdom that I could experiment with and apply to my life.What maestro Katkus stressed a lot as a key to his colorful and very fulfilling life was curiosity. I was nodding while listening as I too happen to believe that a curious mind is a thriving one. (Remember my article http://auroraslim.com/2017/02/10/inspire/?) Questions are born out of curiosity and questions lead us to places we never thought existed. That makes a life into one super exciting journey. So far so good – we were on the same page. Great minds think alike? Ha-ha-ha.

But then this great artist of life started talking about poetry. He revealed he had a huge bookcase of books in his bedroom dedicated solely to poetry. Why? According to him, poetry gives us the language with which to approach life, it touches us, changes and elevates us. His recommendation was to read poetry daily and aloud to get its full effect. The second I heard that I felt as if it touched some kind of a wound in me that I had forgotten was there. My goodness, I used to be such a lover of literature and poetry when I was a student of languages. When and how did it disappear from my life without a notice? I knew it in that very moment – the time is NOW to bring it back.

When my brother went away, I gave my little one loads of water colors, paper, stickers for some handcrafting and I myself headed towards our modest library (I gave most of the books away having in mind our approaching migration. ) As small as my library is, it had a few lovely books of verse. My hand landed on Rilke. It was one of his last books, written in French in admiration of roses. I took it and started reading out loud. The little one didn’t seem to mind. I’d even say he was rather enjoying it. Out of the sudden it felt as if someone was pouring a ton of honey onto my heart. It was so sticky and so delicious, I couldn’t stop. Well, I had to eventually, but I now know I will be back soon…

And as I sat down to write, I understood it’s not only poetry that I had abandoned lately. It’s a lot of other elixirs that I used to feed my heart with. I turned on Strauss’ The four last songs and felt at home immediately. Oh how I’ve missed the young lazy days when I was able to enjoy all these aesthetic pleasures without a worry in my head! I will get them back. Little by little. A super slow fifteen minutes for a poem. A half an hour for just sitting and listening to music of gods, like the Strauss’. An impromptu visit to a concert or an opera? Hell yes! We’ll be living in Germany which is not short of culture.

A National day turned out to be really festive in my heart! I wish all of you and me included to celebrate life by slowing it down to appreciate the treasures our culture has created. Let’s lift the mundane an inch higher today and everyday.

Festive in my heart,

Aurora Slim

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