The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

23 August 2011

Borrowed words

Excerpts from "La's orchestra saves the day" by Alexander McCall Smith.   Food for thought.

In a way,all our human systems, our culture, music, literature, painting - all of that - was effectively an attempt to make life more bearable, to enable us to get by.

Music was her refuge. There was madness abroad, and insanity of killing and cruelty that defied understanding -- unless one took the view that this violence had always been there and had merely been masked by a veneer of civilization. La thought that music disproved this. Reason, beauty, harmony: these were ultimately more real and powerful than any of the demons unleashed by dictators. [...] She wanted to talk to somebody about books, about music, about the things that nobody seemed to talk about here.

She saw the buttons on the sleeve of his jacket, with their crown motif. The King's reach was  a wide one - down to this officer's buttons. Having the symbol of another on one's buttons meant that the other owned you. A free man - a really free man - could not carry the symbol of another on his clothing.

...there should always be room for God, even in wartime.  [...] We can't afford to be without God. Even if he doesn't exist, we have to hold onto him. Because if we don't, then how are we to convince ourselves that we have to go on with this fight? If you take God out of it, then right and justice become small, human things. And weak things too.

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