THIS, HAVE I EARNED?
Every great artist obsessed with his art is sacrificed, as a person, to that art.
-Alfred Einstein in the Mozart Myths: A Critical Reassessment, Stanford UP, Stanford, 1991, p.214.
Some analysts of Mozart imply or state directly, that the compositional process was like the flow of lightening through his veins and involved little effort. While there is little doubt that the flow was imense, there is also little doubt that the process involved much effort.-Ron Price, “Reflecting on “Setting the Record Straight,” Peter Brown at The Mozart Project, Internet Site.
There is some obsession in my bones.
I remember its earliest signs
way back then, as early as ’62,
or long before with the tulips.1
Can I say I’ve sacrificed myself
as a person to this art, this Cause—
for it is all one?
He said the reality of sacrifice
is that there is no sacrifice.
It’s hard to get your handle
on this one, to really understand
the wisdom behind what He’s saying.
He’s given me more, so much more;
He’s filled my heart to overflowing:
what more could I ask?
Yes, there was a price,
the price of life:
given over all those years,
Is this a martyrdom, I ask?
You will never know, I say.
Meanwhile you must accept:
heartache, sadness, loss,
sickness, being alone,
a frozen bone.
You must live in faith that
it will all result in the
favour, one day,
not so far away,
of meeting Him:2
For this I yearn!
This, have I earned?
1 I used to draw tulips at the age of six, over and over again in the same pattern but in different colours. I did this for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, I do not recall precisely. But it had elements of obsessive behaviour.
2 ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i Prayers, USA, 1985, p.46.
20 April 2000.