Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Friday, February 12, 2010

Love Of The Vulgar Since It Stays

Selfishness only 'me'?

let's call it a vulnerability, a circling of wagons, a defense against demands

so is 'thinking of others' a selfless act?

let's propose that it's a guise for claiming what one wants.

What is the general will, and who validates its clamor

certainly no better than the quiet reading of a book 

or the writing of one;  and where does music fit if not 

concertizing with and against crowd sounds, the crude laugh spray.

Hopkins wrote some great religious verse, some wistful lines:

Leaves, like the things of man, you

With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?

He died tending an epidemic.  He developed to that point.



  1. Sometimes we do need to "circle the wagons" to close the cacophony of unwanted sounds. Music soothes us in so many ways and allows us to lapse into a form of well-being.

    Many do think of others, but express it in various ways. My brother had a theory that there is no altruism, for even in the 'giving' we reap some gratification. I'm not certain I believe that. His other mantra was "no good deed goes unpunished." He kept giving of himself, though, until the day he died. Interesting to ponder....

  2. Cher,

    I buy what your brother sold. We do reap gratification. At 17, I thought that was a finding in cynicism, but I've since come to believe that it's one of our better urges, and the gratification is inbuilt to allow us to do more.

    It's possible that no deed at all goes unpunished, but the good ones do stand out, and their strong relief against so much of what we see makes them a bitter target for people who've given up believing they can live up to ideals.

    If there's purpose in the universe, we may be it.

    If there's divinity possible in the universe, we may be a halting, fragile start to forming one.

    No good deeds may go unpunished, but no good deeds appear at all without us.

    Thank you for your comment. I feel recharged now to seek out Mozart and company. Great music touches something very deep, and it goes so opposite of the hurly-burly of our world which seems on its ugly surface to be unresolvable.