Tonight I attended a John Cage concert at some chapel at Harvard University. What started out as this beautiful, meditative tone poem for piano and violin, with increasingly sustained periods of silence between each note… well I was totally into it at first. It felt like the perfect antidote.
But then those silences were disrupted with thoughts of Trump. I would try to return to the music, only to find that the fleeting thoughts were becoming less and less fleeting getting heavier and darker. Taking on more volume and mass. And then I’d return to the room, only to be pulled away by the thoughts, getting louder and thicker. And I’d return for a brief second before succumbing to fear and sadness. An then an even briefer return. Until there was a wall, a real wall, between the music and I, a wall built on terror and anger and bewilderment and dread. This is the wall that Trump has already built.
And soon I could barely sit there in the chapel. I found myself squirming, restless, with shortness of breath. Utterly squashed. Annihilated and squashed.
How had the concert become so suffocating? Why this claustrophobic absent presence? Where was John Cage when I needed him most?