Intensity, Viola, and Meditation

I love chamber music.  And this passion had its roots even before my wife started to learn the violin and viola.  There is an intensity in the strings that resonates with the intensity you often see demonstrated in this venue.  Here is a poem about the viola which likens the artistry of the violist to meditation:


That she was not pretty she knew.

The flowers delivered into her hands post-concert by the young girl,
pretty, would be acknowledged only. To display was to invite

Skilled at withholding, she withheld: it was a kind of giving. As
when meditation is a kind of action,

a way of leaning into music the way one leans into winter wind, the
way a mule leans into a harness,

the way a lover leans into the point of deepest penetration.

After a ship’s prow cuts the water, the water rushes back twice as


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