Saturday, July 28, 2007

Open Letter from Art Lauer

A final piece of writing from my friend, composer Art Lauer, who died June 7th.

Having undergone a series of misfortunes beginning on July 4th, 2006, and which continue to this day, I must admit that ever-present friend Irony is comically complete. I smile with the corners of my mouth down.

Unusually fortunate, I have never been ill in seventy-three previous years. This causes deep consideration of what has and is yet occurring. The months have made me acutely aware of not only our capacity for empathy and sensitivity to others. It also brought to light that in more ordinary conditions we conceal that capacity - from even ourselves. I have many, many friends. They have been that for many years already, yet neither I nor they have been entirely aware of the depth it entailed. They have responded to all with an exhibition of their feelings of love and respect beyond measure. Add to those many from over the years, the many who responded in my immediate local venue and the result is overcoming, and yet it continues. As many have heard me say that, in a way, the disease has been worth having.

And so I dwell on beginnings, not endings. Whatever lives in my own heart, my entire scope of possibility is theirs as much as mine. If only we were always able to express our innermost feelings as they have been at this time, how altered - and decidedly better a world this might be. If there is such a thing as sin, it may be our reticence to allow others into our deepest being. For me, it is a supreme joy to know and be known. There are no thank yous for what I received each day and night.

- Art Lauer (July 31, 1932 - June 7, 2007)