BECOMING BETTER

Jean Croker Petke


Words . . .

Words . . .

Words: Part I

I’ve started reading a massive biography of Beethoven by Jan Swafford. I’ve intended to read it for several years. 2019 is year. My hope is that I will have a more comprehensive understanding of his music.

On page 17 I came across an unfamiliar new word: adumbrated. Here’s the sentence:

There is no indication that Ludwig the younger understood the story secreted in the painting, so much like the covert and sometimes tragic stories adumbrated in his own music.

Though I got the gist of the meaning, I had to look it up. Webster uses these words in definition: foreshadow, intimate, suggest, disclose.

I’ve always known some of Beethoven’s tragedies. I’ll learn more as I read.

I’m most interested in how his life happenings became the precursors for his music. I’ve heard that writers and artists create out of their pain.

Without the tragedy and pain and discomfort and disappointment would there be any music or art or writing at all? If life is going fine, is there any reason or need to look for additional ways of self-expression?

Words: Part II

In the night a word kept rolling around in my dream head: obligato. 

I knew it was a musical word of Italian origin, like so many directive words in music. However, I couldn’t find the word in my two music dictionaries. Webster’s never heard of the word either. I guess I made it upwhich I often do.

Now I wonder what it means — I get to make that up as well.

Here’s what I’ve learned from my research:

  • Ligado in Spanish means legato
  • Legato in Italian means smooth, bound together, no pause between notes
  • ligature is a method of musical notational symbols used in the 12th through 16th centuries. A ligature is also the metal band that attaches the reed to the mouthpiece on a clarinet or saxophone.
  • ligate means to bind or join together
  • obligate means to commit or bind legally or morally
  • obligatory means mandatory or required.

That’s way more than you wanted to know or are probably even interested in.

I’m taking obligato, a word that arrived from in my consciousness from some source beyond me, as my personal word. Perhaps it came from Creator or God or Mastermind or Universe. You have your own names for such sources.

Here’s my definition:

Obligato: determination or commandment or mandate to hold things together by means of smooth transitional, even creative, choices.

That’s it. I’ve tried to live this way for many of my adult decades. I just never had a word for it.

Now I do.

Words: The Summary

So, what do my ramblings have to do with you, dear reader? Here are a few suggestions for your own musings:

  • How are your stories and life events impacting your creative expression? Has your creative expression appeared or is it in hiding?
  • What’s your word — the one that focuses your movement and your dreams and your ponderings? I’d love to know your word. Make one up if you have to.

Until next Tuesday . . .