Beethoven-ian Passion

Dear Jack-

I’m reading, and have been reading for quite a long time, The Reason for God by Tim Keller.  Phenomenal book (and I’m sure letters to be written on it later).  Inside his chapter on the “Clues of God” he talks about the clue of beauty – basically that the beauty found in art, music, creation, etc. is a clue of the existence of a God.  He quotes Leonard Bernsten saying:

Beethoven … turned out pieces of breath-taking rightness.  Rightness – that’s the word!  When you get the feel that whatever note succeeds the last is the only possible note that can rightly happen at that instant, in that context, then chances are you’re listening to Beethoven.  Melodies, fugues, rhythms – leave them to the Tchaikovskys and Hindemiths and Ravels.  Our boy has the real goods, the stuff from Heaven, the power to make you feel at the finish: Something is right in the world.  There is something that checks throughout, that follows its own law consistently: something we can trust, that will never let us down.

Aside from what Keller is communicating here, this passion for music, for Beethoven specifically, is captivating.  I don’t even like classical music but I want to go listen to Beethoven to experience this description.  I wonder how clearly we articulate our passions in this world – and the effect (or non-effect) it has on those around us.  If only each of us was more passionate, I think we could inspire a lot more change.  From encouraging people in getting out of debt to better engaging with your neighbors – I think a lot is left on the table when we’re not passionate about what we do.  Till next time, Jack.



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