This chamber form that he perfected-- Four fiddlers’ brief fraternity-- Became for us an unexpected Blessing of quaternity. For every time a string quartet Is played, the broken world is healed A little. Let us not forget, Then, him through whom this was revealed.
Note: The below is a speech I wrote as a farewell, as the company I've worked for twenty-eight years prepared to move from Boston to Boulder, Colorado (without me--I'm staying to telecommute). It may be of limited interest to those who don't know the company or my colleagues. I'm posting it as I just like to post things I write here to archive them.
There’s a case in the Japanese koan1 collection called Entangling Vines about a widow who supported the practice of a monk, setting up a hut
for him on her property so that he could live there and do his holy work
undisturbed. She provided him food and supplied his needs for twenty years, at
which point she had an impulse to check the level of his realization: She
instructed her beautiful young serving girl to linger a bit the next time she
brought the monk his meal, to sit on his lap, embrace him, and see what
happened. The girl did as she was told. Seated on the surprised monk’s lap with
her arms around him, she asked provocatively, according the widow’s
instructions, “What now?” The
monk replied, poetically, An old tree grows on
a cold rock in winter Nowhere is there any
“The conflict dates
from the day when one man, flying in the face of appearance, perceived that the
forces of nature are no more unalterably fixed in their orbits than the stars
themselves, but that their serene arrangement around us depicts the flow of a
tremendous tide—the day on which a first voice rang out, crying to Mankind
peacefully slumbering on the raft of Earth, ‘We are moving! We are going
forward!’ . . . It is a pleasant and dramatic spectacle, that of Mankind
divided to its depths into two irrevocably opposed camps—one looking toward the
horizon and proclaiming with all its newfound faith, ‘We are moving,’ and the
other, without shifting its position, obstinately maintaining, ‘Nothing changes.
We are not moving at all.’”—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin1