Friday, November 13, 2009

Read.Eat.Listen: ode to small

My friend (& violin player) Yoon-Ki and her husband Koji just welcomed a new little baby. Shin'iji came in the world much earlier than expected and was less than 5lbs when he was born. I visited him & his mom at the preemie ward a few days before he was released to go home. All these little babies wearing beanies in 'iso-lets'! So small! So precious! Not that Shiniji or his nursery mates were 'minimal' in any way, but meeting him got me back to thinking how something small can contain so much, that less is often more, the word minimalism, and how spareness allows much more space than complexity or high drama can. Enough said about my half formed thoughts & where this may be going on a personal level. Here's my Read.Eat.Listen ode to minimal:

Read: Bashō, a Japanese master of haiku, was introduced to me at Naropa many years ago. A sample:

Husking rice,
a child squints up
to view the moon.

Eat: Poco Dulce chocolate tiles. Perfect sweets. Dark dark chocolate. One is enough.(Chocolate is a food group in my book)

Listen: After being obsessed with words & lyrics my whole life, I've been listening to composers more than lyricists this week. John Adams is a leading composer in minimalism. His piece "Transmigration of Souls" about 9/11, won the Pulitzer. It doesn't really feel minimal, but is noteworthy for how one can use 'plain language' to express a vast universe of feeling.

1 comment:

Sally said...

I enjoyed your very thoughtful post. Very big subject, eh?