A field in winter

Field

Robin L. Chandler, 2018

Winter has brought short days, cold nights, and muted colors. But even in this grey rainy gloom, you can find light. Last weekend, I had the great pleasure of hearing the pianist Roger Woodward and members of the Alexander String Quartet play Dmitri Shostakovich‘s Piano Trio No. 2 in E Minor, Opus 67. It was January 20, 2018, the morning of the Women’s March marking a year since the Presidential inauguration. Shostakovich’s deeply moving music was inspired by the tragic discovery  – as the Nazi armies retreated from their failed siege of Leningrad – of the Russian atrocities committed against Jewish People. I found the sobering music – particularly the strong chords of the opening of the third movement “Largo” appropriate for my reflections both political and personal. What was inconceivable has become all too real: capitalism flirts actively with fascism, and democracy is gravely challenged. Illness has struck my loved ones. Like standing in a field in winter, life seems almost absent. Time slips through your fingers; silence roars. Shostakovich’s music breaks your heart, but mends it just the same. Life continues, sleeping underground.

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