Book Trailer For Madam President

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Art Alone Endures

We were doing the Chicago thing with the train and the kids and the rushing to the water taxi to Michigan Avenue to seeing Marilyn Monroe with her dress blowing up in front of the NBC building and then down to Billy Goats Tavern for some burgers that would kill a Tri Athlete then up and across the river toward Millennium Park to see the Bean. It was  a beautiful August night, one of those nights so rare in Chicago that feels more like Florida in Spring. We had just about reached the park when we heard music.

My wife said it looked like a concert in the park and so we drifted up to the fence and and there was a symphony. And then we heard a voice. It was an opera and the singers voice rose up across the city like a God. We just stopped and listened and all our worries and hurries fell away. We were transfixed by this man singing and the beautiful music. The park was filled as far as the eye could see with people quietly listening on a warm night on the end of summer.

And I looked around and I saw young and old just staring. No one moved. Everyone just listened and they were transfixed. And that is when I thought about our world with it's horrible problems and our cartoon culture and our grotesque politicians and the zealots who have take over our lives and I realized then the only thing that trumped all that was Art. It moved at a different speed and a different level and all these people will pass on, but Art will survive.

And they can't touch it. They can try and ban books. Wash out an opera with Rap or noise or sex or violence or whatever they can come up with, but Art survives. I saw it in the people who didn't speak, didn't move. They were mesmerized like I was. And even my seven year old who could barely see over the fence wanted to just stay and listen. It simply soothed the soul.

And then of course we left and hurried on to catch the water taxi to catch the train to get to our car to get home to go to bed to start all over the next day. But there was that interlude. It only lasted fifteen minutes but the world was in order. All was right. There is an engraved saying in the Fine Arts Theatre of Chicago. "All Passes, Art Alone Endures." Amen.


Books by William Hazelgrove