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I find Chopin’s music incredibly soothing, gentle, and elegant. And in all that which is the aforementioned, there is Grace and Beauty. Grace and Beauty are capitalised here in allusion to the old poetic tradition, where vital intangible things like Death and Spirt are given the capital treatment.

And speaking of Death, I happen to live for la petit mort, that ‘little death’* one experiences at the height of pure, intense pleasure—in this case, on this particular evening, musically-induced. I believe the closest contemporary term for it is ‘eargasm’. Other variations include litgasm and artgasm, both of which consumes me on a regular basis, the former more voraciously for, though pictures may please the eye, it is words that stir the Soul, and mine in particular.

But let us not drift away from the sound of Chopin. Ladies and gentlemen of the blogosphere, I shut my eyes, tilt my head back, and sway to his lilting score: all while the corners of my mouth stretch to form the shape of pleasure. My brows furrow, my eyelids quiver, I hold my breath.

Upon exhaling a carousel-like film reel enters my head: a slender, beautiful woman applying lipstick and rouge in front of a dresser mirror; a pair of children, a brunette boy and a blonde, straw-hatted (the ribbon around the crown russet) girl, running into the woods with linked hands as morning light flickers through leaves stirred by the gentle breeze; a couple of Miyazaki’s carefree country girls play-chasing each other up a grassy hill against a blue sky strewn with puffy white clouds; a handsome young mother tucking a stray curl behind the ear of her youngest, a ruddy-cheeked girl.

The panorama continues, a kaleidoscope of Naturalist country landscapes and soft women, a testament to the inherent femininity of Romantic music and my own vividly feminine memory and imagination, courtesy of the Joe Wrights and Thomas Gainsboroughs of this world and the last. Their artistries altered my vision forever and in the interrelated way the creative arena works, Chopin’s music brings to mind select scenes and paintings glanced from a lifetime of artist worship.

What do you see when listening to Chopin?

* Kudos to the French, for there really is no better way of describing it in as little words.