I am on vacation in Puerto Rico where impermanence is everywhere i look. I feel distressed. Buildings blown to bits by hurricanes–Maria in 2017 and the less powerful, but slow-moving Fiona in 2022. Wrecked theme parks, billboards, and boats. The famous art museum of Ponce closed since the 6.4 earthquake in 2020 centered nearby.
As a cultural WASP, i just want to tidy things up. Yet the spiritual lesson is in letting things be. Look at the destruction. Be comfortable. Or rather, be comfortable with the discomfort of infrastructure working on a thin thread of acceptable.
Within sight of my Airbnb lies two miles (miles!) of dysfunctional oil refineries. Rusted pipes galore. Rusted oil tanks just waiting for the next hurricane to shatter them and blow their sidings out to sea.
I can also see 2 wrecked ships, rusting into the shallow sea in a nearby bay.
Yet, people still go to work. Fishermen fish. Families go to the beach on Sundays.
My sweetie played a beautiful piano concert Saturday afternoon.The audience applauded. Then, an hour later, it was all over. Ten months of practice, several months of planning for the November concert and for this January concert, the applause–it’s all over.
Sweetie kept reviewing the pieces in his mind, replaying them for himself. This is a form of stress. He kept reviewing the critical comments that a couple of friends made. “The piano was too loud.” This is a form of stress. He wondered why certain friends hadn’t come. This is a form of stress. He congratulated himself on having played a masterful concert. This too is a form of stress, because even though it’s a pleasant memory, that pleasantness comes to an end after a few seconds, and the ending of pleasantness is unpleasant. Continue reading →
My sweetie gave a piano concert yesterday afternoon in our small town. Forty of his friends and acquaintances came to enjoy the short, easily accessible classical music pieces by Debussy, Ravel, and Moussorgsky. He gave a short introduction to each piece, telling the audience what to listen for. They applauded each song with longer applause at the end. Continue reading →