The Quartet

Endless Summer: Quartet by Elizabeth Luallen

Endless Summer work on paper by Elizabeth Luallen: Quartet circa 1979

When you are in the heat of play, you are in a world of your own. As long as you are concentrating the bubble exists. The moment the music ends, the bubble bursts and ‘reality’ floods in like an ocean. Some of us are searching for a means to forever inhabit the bubble, not to escape but to create an inner world worth inhabiting. Once we have had a taste of beauty beyond what we even were taught, there is no turning back.

Immersed in the moment, one player is empty, literally. Detachment or alienation? Somehow by being both in the bubble and in the “room” of mauve, breaking the bubble, he is above the play, a citizen of both worlds. Any spectator of Classical Music knows he is the ‘first-chair,’ the guy who knows the most, practices the most, shows up the most; in fact, doesn’t have a life outside the music that is anything to speak of. In a way, the one who has devoted his every moment of time on Earth to the study of music is the outsider; the one who missed the entire point of music, which is the celebration of life. But if you haven’t a life because you’re too obsessed with a pursuit, one’s life will be relegated to one of emulation rather than spontaneous creation. And the effervescence of living will be ever elusive.

Alone at last?

Must we be alone to find peace? Must we be in the midst of our cherished desires to be finally at rest? An artist steps amongst the stones of a shallow stream, distant in thought.

Stones become gems, and idle moments are rendered timeless when we are alone; that is, if we find ourselves a likeable companion. If not, being alone is a living hell that we feel obliged to share.

But when we’ve crossed the stream, when we’ve come this far to do what we set out to do, when we have finally arrived at a secret accomplishment, there is the possibility of peace with ourselves. And then, perhaps one can be a friend at last.

painting by Elizabeth Luallen

Original encaustic by Elizabth Luallen