It’s been a week of awesome and awful.

The awesome: the birth of my second daughter. She brings new challenges but is a delight. I will write more on her later.

The awful: dear friends’ baby died; my brother’s home burned down. Words fail.

These sorts of events always make me also think about all the stupid and unnecessary things that intensify tragedy or make it more likely. I find myself reaching for music, and inarticulate sounds that aren’t speech but pack in emotion and meaning.

I held my baby daughter tonight and watched the sunset over the lake, thinking about all this, and humming to her, feeling at once deeply lucky, happy, angry, and grieving.

In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing
About the dark times.
– Bertolt Brecht, “Motto”

“To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory.”
– Percy Shelley, Prometheus Unbound

“because I am happy, & dance & sing,
they think they have done me no injury:
And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King
Who make up a heaven of our misery.”
– William Blake, The Chimney Sweeper (Songs of Experience)

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