This New Year, wishes are difficult to put into words

I had planned tonight to wish you a Happy New Year on the part of Faenza. But can one still speak of a "happy new year" when nearby in Paris, three men have murdered 17 people, being sure of their right to? Can we do anything else but wish that the rest of the year be... better? Around me, people are getting discouraged: what sense can our activities as musicians, researchers, teachers have alongside this reality? Reality - enormous, omnipresent, and planetary - without common measure with the microcosm that forms our community of the privileged among the privileged. Well, I say that happily there is something alongside this reality. Happily there still remains a big place for light and "useless" things because, if it weren't the case, to what would our world resemble? I think of the account of an escaped prisoner from a Nazi concentration camp who told how the prisoners marvelled, in passing before the window of a house outside the camp, that there could exist a flower behind it. Just the existence itself of this flower was a comfort to them. That I can understand. I need to know that another reality exists, even if I will never have access to it. I need to know that the monk prays, even if his prayer can do nothing for me. I need to know that the ascetic attains his Nirvana, even if this liberation will never be mine. I need to know that a child smiles somewhere, even if everywhere else, children are mistreated. I even need to know, just imagine, that very rich people collect paintings of the Masters or have fabulous gardens that only they will enjoy, as to me, it suffices that this beauty still exists, protected somewhere, even if I will never see it. It doesn't seem to me that the search for beauty for its own sake and that the beauty of the search for the sake of the search, be vain and useless things in the face of violence. And laughing, of course, remains essential. And so... Happy New Year!

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Région Grand Est DRAC


Translations by Sally Gordon Mark

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