This morning I was reminded that there are times when not knowing is just as important as knowing. This may seem a strange thing to hear from someone who writes articles and books, hoping each time to advance human knowing just a little. The fact is that I have started to feel, more strongly than ever, that we need mystery in our lives, just as much as we need knowing and the knowledge that flows from this.
I realised this today, as I was driving to Alp. I had been listening to the Beethoven Piano Sonatas for the last couple of weeks, but suddenly felt like a change. I switched to a Schubert quartet that I like, but knew within a minute that it was not this that I wanted. Then it dawned on me – and I put on the Violin Partita No. 2 by Bach, arranged for piano by Busoni, and performed masterfully by Jorge Bolet at Carnegie Hall in 1974. It really hit the spot!
And this is my point – I have no idea why. It’s a complete mystery. And I want it to stay that way. I have no desire to investigate further.
I know from experience that the spot changes from time to time. For a while, decades ago, it was Listz’s Sonata in B Minor, played by Pascal Roge. And then one day the spot shifted unaccountably to the First Movement of Rachmaninov’s 3rd Piano Concerto. On other parts of the music spectrum it has been Poetry in Motion (early 60s), Sultans of Swing, and now it is Raining Again by Supertramp.
I am sure these pieces could tell you a lot about me and about my state of being at the time. But I prefer not to know. The mystery is so much more interesting. I wonder where the spot will move to next!