I was just at my table reading when Bach's Tocatto came over the stereo. Until then, I'd only heard the piece in spoofs of horror films or in comedy sketches. The music ended before my eyes came back into focus on the word I'd stopped on 3 minutes ago. Then a holy shudder spun through me.
One of the most stunning poetic stanzas I've encountered, Rilke's beginning of the Duino Elegies, best phrases this experience:
Who, if I screamed out, would hear among the hierarchiesAnd then there's Jeff Buckley. Has anyone replaced him as the siren of a generation's soul cry?
of angels? And if one suddenly did take
me to his heart: I would perish from his
stronger existence. For beauty is nothing
but the onset of terror we're still just able to bear,
and we admire it so because it calmly disdains
to destroy us. Every angel is terrifying.