“They’ve closed the chapel at Brideshead, Bridey and the Bishop; Mummy’s requiem was the last mass said there. After she was buried the priest came in — I was there alone. I don’t think he saw me—and took out the altar stone and put it in his bag; then he burned the wads of wool with the holy oil on them and threw the ash outside; he emptied the holy water stoup and blew out the lamp in the sanctuary and left the tabernacle open and empty, as though from now on it was always to be Good Friday. I suppose none of this makes any sense to you, Charles, poor agnostic. I stayed there till he was gone, and then, suddenly, there wasn’t any chapel there any more, just an oddly decorated room. I can’t tell you what it felt like.”
“I wrapped myself in a thick overcoat & sat for two minutes, tears streaming out of my cold eyes and loathed the world, – came back to the house – empty and cold – how I hated having written anything: so I wandered out again & shivered & longed to destroy the work of my hands – all wasted…”
— Edward Elgar in 1912, the day after completing The Music Makers - his soul-searching choral masterpiece - which I can wait to hear performed by the Hallé tomorrow. I can relate to his feelings right now. I know my research is more than competent, and yet trust none of it and detest it often.
This afternoon, walking through the city with a new pair of bicycle tyres thrown over my shoulder, it felt so very nearly Spring. Was it the light, the fresh breeze, or simply the pleasure of leaving the lab at a reasonable time having gathered some nice data? Or all of the above?
What I do know is this: That although it is certain to be cold, grey and bleak tomorrow, meteorologically and otherwise, the Spring will come - as sure as Lent will end.
Amazing to have gone from snow to almost spring in a week. Though we must remember that there is still all of February to go, and March can be pretty cold. But it’s not long to sunshine. Not long.
Waiting in the sunshine before this morning’s piano recital (Louise Besette playing Bax, Fauré, Brahms and Lecuona), I finally started to believe that spring would come again - as lovely as the snow has been.