Sunday, April 24, 2016

Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most

Photo by Kathleen Tyler Conklin

Spring in the environs of Washington D.C. ranks high on the list of the world’s most beautiful.

It seems especially so this spring, in part perhaps in contrast to the ugliness of the political antics happening, being reported on and endlessly discussed here.  The contrast is poignant, but not only caused by political chaos.  Exquisite beauty can often stir up feelings of longing and sadness…a sickness of heart, sometimes referred to as spring fever.  Bipolar we become…knocked out by the loveliness of nature…but unsettled because we realize our human nature is so far from the perfection we find there.  We can’t quite capture it in our works of art.  We hope others will be able to feel  the beauty we felt, but know it will be fleeting and somehow changed forever.  We are left with a feeling of not quite getting there, a feeling of loss, a restlessness of spirit.

Shakespeare’s sonnets surely speak to the beauty of nature, but also to that feeling of never quite arriving home.  T.S. Elliot reminds us in his poem “The Wasteland” that “April can be the cruelest month”.  The jazz rendition of those words found in the song “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most “(lyrics by Fran Landesman) expresses so well the ache found in the sweetness of spring.  Listen to Ella Fitzgerald sing these words and feel better.