It always pleases me whenever I read through my commonplace book (by the way, a commonplace book is somebody’s personal collection of quotes, sayings, witticisms, even graffiti) that I think I’ve collected some pretty cool quotes over the past almost 50 years.
There are some that still make me laugh so hard or groan with delight because they are so punny or that some, with just a few words, can convey such beautiful imagery.
Like this one: “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” I always picture a weather-worn, tired farmer, coming in from the fields, smacking his dusty hat against his equally dusty overalls, and then suddenly noticing that the radio or a stereo in the farmhouse is playing whatever may be his favorite music, and then an ear-to-ear smile splits his face with joy. Isn’t that a lovely quote and an even lovelier image?
Or this quote said by a long-ago friend of mine after he had read my small collection of quotes about unicorns: “Despite their magical mystery and beauty, unicorn shit still stinks.” That one always makes me laugh so hard! Unicorns are always portrayed, both in words and images, as dainty, mystical, beauteous creatures who will not deign to associate or prance amongst the majority of us peons…and yet, if indeed they are real, well, they have to crap sometime and somewhere, right? It’s that juxtaposition of those images that makes me laugh: the mythical beauty versus the stinky, harsh reality.
I love good writing and good music. And what amazes me about both is that with so few letters of the alphabet and with so few musical notes, wonderful images and imagery have been made that will make you soar, that will immediately create emotions, sometimes overwhelmingly so. And all with so few tools.
But that is also true for other things as well. A master craftsman can create beautifully carved furniture or artwork with just a few chisels and rasps; a painter can create masterpieces with just a few drops of paint and brushes. Maybe what is so amazing is not the few tools required but that humans have had such a long, long history of creating such masterpieces in art, writing and music, etc., with those few required tools.
And that gives me hope for our future. Our sun, in a few billion years or so, will eventually consume our planet and fade from glory. Hopefully we will have transferred the best of our Earth to another hospitable planet before that occurs. But what I think is even more wonderful is that somehow, some way, humans will still, with just a few tools, be able to create wonderful words, wonderful music, wonderful artwork that will live on again.