Arguments on a Question of Legacy
Yet even these bones from insult to protect
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
~~Thomas Gray, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
When you get to be as old as I am, as I am aware some are definitely more seasoned than I have been fortunate to consider myself one, you would notice more intangibles that you want to treasure more before you forget them. At least in my particular case, that had appeared to be a pronounced tendency.
It is not so much because I want to catalogue them before they become totally divorced from me. Rather because I want to assimilate the essence of their beauty into the substance of my soul. Hopefully, by so doing, I shall have enriched, tempered, and strengthened the essence of my being to be better able to handle the realm of the unknown in the hereafter.
But if there is no hereafter, you say? I happen to believe there is. And should I be wrong, I shall have enjoyed the process of immersing myself in the spirit of the good, the beautiful, and the true. If you don’t know what they are all about, there is really nothing that I can do about it now that can be of benefit to you. You should have recognized them early on when you started to notice yourself as a sentient being and began to wonder where your sense and sensibility came from.
In this ever more frequently occurring journey to what I tagged my inner universe, I wish I would discover within me the faculty to create or compose a melody, a musical tune out of whatever it is melodies emerge from, perhaps the nothingness of being. I know I appreciate the melody I like when I hear one. But to create one out of nowhere and out of nothing, I cannot help but wonder what the experience is like. And to be able to communicate it to another sentient being, must constitute the consummation of total nirvana.
It is in this vein of total unknowing and wonderment that I listen to music. It is in this context that I acknowledge and pay homage to the inventors of YouTube. It is a wonderful venue to give vent to my passion to listen to melodies which resonate with the most profound dreams and longings of my soul. Beyond that, it affords me a vehicle to belt out a few tunes myself as a way of letting loose and let go some pent up emotions which cannot otherwise be verbalized.
The concept of a playlist affords me a corridor, a beach, a landscape, or a horizon in the tides of time through which I can wander and get lost in the inner chambers of my reverie, simultaneously as I interface with kindred journeys of kindred souls~ ~they who uploaded the melodies which I strung together into a playlist. Not to mention the souls whose talents and performance are showcased in the component melodies which constitute each Playlist, I commune with them too. They are not even aware that my soul is touching theirs in some profound way even if only with the vestige traces of their sojourn in the vast magnificence of both the here and now and the great beyond in God’s Creation and the infinitude thereafter.
The playlist gives me a venue for both prospects and retrospects. It allows me to look back with gratitude and reverence to the souls who were here before me. It affords me to look forward with awe and nonchalance at the judgment of posterity from the generations of souls who shall come after me. Or in the immortal lines of Thomas Gray,
For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e'er resigned,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing lingering look behind?
On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
Ev'n from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
Ev'n in our ashes live their wonted fires.
It is important to me that I am aware of the various interfaces and interactions. For as John Donne in Meditation XVII would have it,
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; . . .
It is in this spirit that I nurture my passion to create playlists and endeavor to share them with any and all, who might enjoy what they offer, however different from whatever ecstasy and entertainment I derive from them.
I have so far created twenty-five playlists, ranging in length from two to fifty component videos. In terms of playback duration it ranges from as short as nine minutes for the two-video list to thirty-two hours for the list of fourteen complete performances of my favorite opera masterpieces. Below is one of them which I titled “Down Nostalgia Lane.”
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjC-YRc2AjQD7F9ZjM58X5w0o4fT6EAQs (needs to be started manually);
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re59PF_DOrk&list=PLjC-YRc2AjQD7F9ZjM58X5w0o4fT6EAQs (automatic playback of first member).
I don’t apologize for including number 17. It may be crude and devoid of any instrumentation. It however provides a graphic illustration of the emotional outlet function of YouTube that I alluded to earlier above. Besides, it showcases the lyrics I myself wrote. I am still hoping to find somebody with better diaphragm and vocal cords than I have at my disposal to take the composition for a much more deserving test drive than I can muster.
You may skip it at playback. But I beseech you to not eliminate it from the list even if you know how. That would, ipso facto, violate the intent and charitable spirit of the venue. Otherwise, enjoy the ride. Or in the somberly imposing verses of John Milton:
“. . . Live while ye may,
Yet happie pair; enjoy, till I return,
Short pleasures, for long woes are to succeed!”