Single-Handedly

Too Dark

Is Classical music “too dark?” I suppose at times it can be just dark enough, but I will have to differ with him on this point. It is very nearly sacrilegious to tune the radio to Jack Benny for a “smiler” after something truly sobering and thought-provoking.

Is it too deep? I would hesitate to say anything is too deep. Something too deep is too useful and too beneficial: too good. It simply requires too much work for the modern sensibility.

There is something in our mileau which creates even in those most respectable as thinkers a distaste for “extracurricular” thought — as if thinking is what ought to be done only at prescribed times, being an embarrassing intrusion at any other.

I am not too dark. It’s not my fault that the world sees an impetuous need for untoward brightness. Brightness and ease: “so shalt thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.”1

There are few types of people I detest more than the sluggard. In part, that may be because I detect in myself a certain tendency in that direction. (In the same way, I detest complaining: a vice which has been with great effort expunged from my life.) It may come across as pride to some, but I have no propensity to believe that anyone, with a setting of their mind and will to it, cannot do anything I have succeeded in doing. Therefore, if anyone is lazy, or a complainer, or merely has trouble understanding a concept, I tend to immediately attribute the shortfall to unwillingness rather than inability.

If men were not afraid to think, if men were not afraid to do, if men could bring themselves to surpass mere existence, then and only then would this world meet my approval. Until then, thoughtful music will remain too dark; for to enlighten such music requires a lux interna, the which is quenched by men.

“Too deep” only exists in “too deep to see,” when you must swim deeper in order to discern. If men would more than be, no depth would be too great to plumb, nor too dark to illuminate.

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1

Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

Proverbs 24:33–34

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