January happens to be the month in which some of my all-time favorite people are born. Apart from my oldest kid (6th), my two nephews (7th & 13th), Kathy M. (the -- um whatever last Friday was), and Franklin (sometime this week), today happens to be the birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. (Now a few dozen of you are smacking your foreheads, thinking "That explains the Google graphic!")
What does Mozart have to do with knitting?
Nothing really. We don't have any evidence that Mozart knitted, no remnants of a lace pattern on the back of a foolscap score, no crackled oil paintings showing Wolfie with a pair or two of Addi Turbos and some sock yarn. But in a weird way, Mozart's music touches a part of me that is also touched by great knitting.
In many respects, this world sucks. Human beings can be so needlessly cruel, so barbaric, delighting in torturing each other (physically and emotionally). When one encounters "the blood, the horror inherent in life, when one finds darkness not only in one's culture but within oneself,"1 it's a wonder anybody can get out of bed in the morning. But occasionally I catch a glimpse of something beautiful, something breathtakingly lovely that a human being has created: a sonnet, a glorious piece of fair isle, the face in a Renoir painting, a striking piece of architecture, and yes, an exquisite piece of music (or several hundred exquisite pieces of music, in Mozart's case).
Listen to Sonata in C (so simple a beginning piano student could play it), or Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, which you've heard a million times before but is still a wonderful piece of music, or hum "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," for Christ's sake, and be glad that every thousand years or so, somebody is born on this earth with such a profound capacity for creating the beautiful.
1to quote some guy named Barry Lopez.