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Thursday, November 17, 2011

To Play Pianissimo

(Cranes, a mural by N. C. Wyeth, 1882-1945, American
artist and illustrator)

Mother Teresa was speaking to members of her order, the Missionaries of Christ:

“What we need is to love without getting tired.

“How does a lamp burn? Through the continuous input of small drops of oil. If the drops of oil run out, the light of the lamp will cease. . . .

“My daughters, what are the drops of oil in our lamps? They are the small things of daily life: faithfulness, punctuality, small words of kindness, a thought for others, our way of being silent, of looking, of speaking, and of acting.”

~ Mother Teresa (1910-1997), Albanian-born Indian Catholic nun, from
Heart of Joy


To play pianissimo¹
Does not mean silence.
The absence of moon in the day sky,
for example.

Does not mean barely to speak,
the way a child’s whisper
makes only warm air
on his mother’s right ear.

To play pianissimo
is to carry sweet words
to the old woman in the last dark row
who cannot hear anything else,
and to lay them across her lap like a shawl.

~ Lola Haskins, American poet and essayist

¹ pianissimo – in musical direction: passage to be performed very softly (Italian – piano, soft)


Pentimento said...

Absolutely wonderful poem. Thank you for posting it.

Tabatha said...

Fabulous. And the Wyeth too.

Ruth said...

This is great, too! I obviously need to visit your blog more often than on Fridays!