I stand in amazement at the complexities of what may appear as elementary as the leaves I collected the other day. Whether the name of the tree, the veining, coloration, or the degree of curling, the diversity merits careful study to appreciate the complexities of an autumn leave. Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) expressed the implications of a simple sight seen in nature when he wrote “Flower in the Crannied Wall.”
FLOWER in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies;—
Hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower—but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.
The poet struggled with the enormity of the implications behind that flower coming out of a crack in the wall. Why? Because the flower had roots far deeper than Tennyson could see in his science versus religion struggle.
Looking from nature to music, I see another example of precision in study and timing. I recently joined the Garrett County Choral Society and currently find myself learning the correct German pronunciation for Bach’s Cantata 140, Sleepers, Awake. While we sopranos have the simplicity of half and whole notes that carry the chorale’s melody, the other three parts must scurry through an amazing fugue and get the pronunciation correct. The aid called cyberbass.com helps with the at-home practice. Go to the choral works of major composers, select the notes for a particular part and practice outside the weekly rehearsal time. The group then practices for 2 ½ hours each Sunday evening from early September until the December concert.
So what connects nature, music and health care? You may think this strange, but I believe the current rush to pass some kind of health care reform is dashing headlong without enough study, not to mention time to even read the various documents blowing through Washington at the present. Those who favor comprehensive health care for all have testimonials from doctors advocating this; the other side also presents doctors who vehemently argue in the opposite direction. Whatever your position, virtually all agree that the topic of health care comes fully stocked with complexities. These issues will, doubtless, require more study, time and practice than any Bach fugue because there are as many variations if the particulars as the leaves on the trees. Don’t the complexities of health care need careful study, clear articulation, and much debate before we legislate?