Sunday, August 30, 2009

Between Bocelli and Beethoven

During the last ten years of her life, my Mom was completely blind and deaf. The full blindness came after a long battle with the glaucoma eye disease; the hearing problems started when as a young woman she got beatten on head and ears by a german officer ; over the years it gradually worsened and deafness became permanent condition.

Mom's intense blue eyes ( that stayed beautiful and open till her last moment) and her delicate shaped ears never leave my thoughts. There are times when I think of her, wish to lie down and just cry - to make it up for all those terrible moments when I wanted to cry but I couldn't, I had to be strong for her sake.
It is in times like these that I seek the proper atmosphere ; I turn to the voice of the blind italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, and to Symphony nr.5 by the huge deaf german (how ironical) composer Ludwig van Beethoven .

Andrea Bocelli is relatively young, handsome and...blind. He was diagnosed in early childhood with glaucoma, and at the age of 12 after an accident he lost his sight. I like it both when he sings with or wihout a partner, his voice stirring up in me the right emotions.

Beethoven wrote his Symphony nr.5 at a time when he was struggling with his deafness. It sounds very angry and stormy . The beginning of the symphony is dramatic, the end is considered triumphant. I never cease to wonder how a deaf man like Beethoven could compose such mighty sounds. Anyway, I'm totally and utterly enslaved to this symphony; it helps me take out all the anger and frustration I've accumulated regarding my mother's fate.


  1. Hi Duta,

    I love the tenderness in your description of your mother and how music helps raise these tender moments to the surface and comforts you.

    Next to our sense of smell, music has the power to transcend the listener to a special time and envelops them in memory.

  2. Oh dear, Duta, you really did move me to tears this time. My Mum is not so good at this time, being in her early 80's and just having undergone a hip operation. It is not an easy relationship between us. I was a post war baby and I think both Mum and Dad (who was in the Royal Navy) had their own scars to deal with from that time, which naturally effected how they parented me. But your blog pulled me up short, and for the rest of the time my Mum has here on Earth, I will give thanks for her presence in my life. That she tried her best, the same as yours did for you despite the physical and emotional difficulties both of them had. And that both of them have loved us.
    God bless you for this post. I don't know how you do it, but you always make me think! Beethoven's 5th will never be the same for me, and thankyou for introducing me to that splendid opera singer.

  3. Duta,
    I am sorry about what your mother, and you, were forced to endure. May God comfort you.

  4. Duta, I'm so glad that you are able to find comfort, and what a beautiful source. Is that Sarah Brighton also singing?

    It's so difficult to have evidence in a life of the true evil that can be perpetrated by man. To have someone you love suffer any ailment is difficult beyond words, but to know it was visited upon her is truly hard to bear. To say it was wrong is to only scratch the surface of how truly unjust it was. It's horrific, plain and simple. I'm so sorry your mother, and so many like her, suffered so at the hands of the truly evil.

    I think it is beautifully fitting that in your attempts to find something to life your spirits, you turn to music, in particular, Beethoven. I don't know what I believe, not in any specific manner, but I do know that I consider Beethoven's gift to be evidence of the divine in the world. How could someone who could not fully hear, create such music? How could he have created something like The Ode to Joy?

    I don't know, but I do think that just as what happened to your mother is evidence of evil in the world, Beethoven's ability to create is evidence of the divine.

  5. Duta, your videos are absolutely beautiful. You have enslaved me now too.
    Sometimes a good cry just makes everything easier, doesn't it...Shedding tears has the power to restore balance to our lives and helps to release the pain we feel.

    Your combination speaks to my heart today lovely. I thank you :)

    PS: Duta, I changed the last lines in my poem. I agree with you, it was not quite right. I think it is better now. Thank you again, for your good and thoughtful wishes. You are a gem.

  6. Angelina,
    I totally agree with you on the power of music. It can soothe and calm those wounded souls.

  7. Vera,
    I'm sorry about your Mum's condition. Hip operations are very common at this age, and the outcome is quite good.
    Your comment has deeply touched me.

  8. Dimple,
    Thank you very much for your kind words.

  9. Land of shimp,
    Her name is Sara Brightman. She's a british singer and dancer, very successful and rich.
    Because of the genius of Beethoven, I've come to think that if there is such a thing as german superiority, then it has two sharp sides: one, superiority in evil doing, two superiority in positive fields like music and science.

  10. TheChicGeek,
    Thank you for the warm words you're bestowing upon me. I agree with you about "a good cry".We sometimes need it to release pain and sorrow and go on with life.

    P.S. I saw the change; it looks fine.

  11. A very touching post, and how dreadful for your mother. Also, now I know something about you that I didn't know before. As to the music, Andrea Bocelli has been a favorite of mine for many years, and pair him with the likes of Sara Brightman and you've got a masterpiece. And that piece by Beethoven, how funny that one can recognize it from just the first few notes.

    Again, very touching post, Duta.

  12. Wander to the Wayside,
    Thank you.
    August was the month of her death and as we are approaching the High Holidays and The Day of Atonement when we remember our beloved that are not with us anymore, and pray for their souls - I was in the 'right' mood for writing this post.

  13. Duta, what a beautiful description you give of your mother. I am so glad you find peace within the music. What beautiful music it is. Have a blessed evening!!!

  14. The Bocelli & Brightman video is magnificent! If I had met this Sarah first I might not have had contempt for her (I saw a special she did of pop songs & that was just over the top - hated it - it was my first exposure to her). But this was magical.

    My mother died 4 1/2 years ago - kidney cancer - and I've had the same feelings as you - bottling up fear & sadness while she was alive & then letting them overtake me from time to time now that's she gone. Sigh. So we're sisters in this way.

  15. Duta,

    Thank you for this heartfelt post. As you know from my blog, I lost my mother almost a year ago, and it is still so hard. We function from day to day, but there are moments when the emotion comes flooding in, and we have to do the best we can to deal with it. Music is helpful to you, and is, at times, helpful to me as well. Most of the time, though, I take long walks and reflect. I'm sure you do this as well. The loss of a mother is so life altering. I'm so sorry for your loss, and what your mother had to go through.

  16. Nezzy,
    Her eyes were her most striking feature - two blue oceans, but with deteriorating sight. Her ears were perfectly shaped but with deteriorating hearing .
    Youre right about the music, it is beautiful.
    Have a blessed day!

  17. The Bug,
    I'm sorry about your mother.and I can understand what you went trough with her.
    Sara Brightman is a very successful british soprano and they say she paved the way for Bocelli ( she did make indeed some experiments with pop songs in the past).

  18. Bica,
    " The loss of a mother is so life altering" - what a beautiful, true sentence!
    Indeed, long wals and reflection are also a good 'remedy' for hearbreak.
    Have a happy Day!

  19. Life is so full of disappointments, heartache, and suffering, sometimes at the hands of others. Because of our sorrow the beauty shines more brightly and fills us with hope.

  20. Rhonda,
    Beautiful words. Thanks Rhonda.

  21. Oh, goodness, that broke my heart when you said your mother had been beaten by a German officer. I remember my mother's beautiful blue eyes too. Oh, gosh.

    Yes, I love Beethoven, and I often play his 9th symphony "Ode to Joy". It is wonderful, isn't it? How could he have heard such beautiful music in his head, but he never heard the symphony.

    I think you mother would be proud to read your post. :-)

  22. What an incredibly moving, honest and thoughtful post. It was just beautiful.

  23. Jo,
    Yes, he hit her with the back of his rifle. (She didn' like to go into details about this period in her life. It was too painful to her).
    She was optimistic by nature and that helped go hrough all the bad times.

  24. Arika,

    Coming from you, that's a huge compliment. Thanks a lot.

  25. Music soothes the soul. It sounds like your mother was a wonderful lady and endured horrible circumstances that no one should have had to endure. She raised a very caring, compassionate and thoughtful daughter. I think she would be honored to read your tribute to her.

  26. Lisa,
    'wonderful' and 'horrible' are the key words. Mom was indeed a wonderful human being, and the circumstances of her life were horrible.
    Thank you for your very kind words.

  27. This is beautiful. Your mother must have been a wonderful and amazing woman. I love Andrea Bocelli, too. But Beethoven's Seventh is my favorite symphony.

  28. Dear Duta
    We never get over missing our Mothers no matter how old we become. My Mother had soft hazel eyes and was always positive even those last 3 years of her life when she spent more time in the hospitals than home. She conquered heart disease with a pace maker, she was a cancer survivor beating lymphomia however diabetes took it toll and she died from kidney failure. As for music I just love a GOOD TENOR AND HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO TURN UP THE VOLUME AS I DRIVE ALONG THE HIGHWAY. PEACE

  29. Hi Duta,
    Thank you for sharing this sad story and the beautiful videos with us. The music is so moving and strong. Just like you.

    I have my mother living with me and every day is a blessing. She's only 73 but very thin and frail and I worry about her, but I try to keep positive thoughts and I am just grateful that she is as healthy as she is. Right now she's out on my patio talking on her cell phone to her brother in Spanish and it makes me happy to know that I can provide a safe and happy home for her.

    Thank you Duta for making me stop and count the blessings of having my mom with me. Stay Well.

  30. Virtualsprite,
    Thanks for stopping by and for leaving your kind comment. I'm glad you liked the music.

  31. Lady Di Tn,
    "We never get over missing our mothers.." - how true! It seems your Mom was quite a heroine having to fight all those health issues. May her soul rest in peace!

  32. Alicia,
    I like the way you treat your mother and speak of her. May you both have long ,healthy, and happy years!

  33. Thank you for sharing something that is so hard to accept, Duta. I hope you allow yourself to cry now, till accpetance comes. Beethoven must have had a perfect hearing as they say (they can hear the tone in their head, when you say, D, G. B flat, etc.) and really have an excellent knowledge of music theory before he turned deaf, irn order to still compose.

  34. Hi Dandy,
    You've got good taste. He's a great tenor.

  35. jeannette stgermain,
    You might be right about Beethoven.
    Thank you for your kind words.

  36. I can't imagine the isoluation of living without sight and sound.

    Bochelli has always brought such emotion to me when I hear him sing. Truly a gifted man.

  37. For those who want know more about your mother, I would suggest them to visit your blog.
    In Memory of Dear People
    In this site you can get information about your mother and the connection between music, memory is easily understandable.
    She had a nice voice and was an enthusiastic music lover, so it would be expected the Music-Memory Connection found in your brain.
    In addition to her biography, we learn about your ways to improve her quality of life.
    You treated her well with lots of love and respect. You held her in high regard for her wisdom.

  38. Maggie,
    Unimaginable, indeed. I used to be 'all over her' hugging her and kissing her to sweeten the terrible isolation.
    Thanks for your comment.

  39. Rahel/Rodica,
    Your words mean a lot to me, as you knew my mother personally, and she was very fond of you.
    August is the month of her death,and now in September before the High Holidays I'm going to visit her grave ,ask forgiveness and pray for her fine soul.

  40. Duta, what a beautiful tribute to your mother. Thanks for sharing the two musical videos. Bocelli is one of my favorites. Just lovely and relaxing. I lost my mother 3 years ago and still miss her every day.

  41. janie,
    Thanks for your kind words. Bocelli is a favorite of many, because of the combination of a good voice and his lack of sight which stirs high emotions.