We all wish to know who we truly are. Every day, we probe our past to understand who we are and question our present to foresee who we will become.
In the presence of the next five poems, we explore and deepen the understanding we have of ourselves and of our relationships with others. The poems trace our weaknesses and herald our ability to master our thoughts and our lives. They remind us that there is no “I am” without a “We are”.
Illustrating these poems, Rembrandt explores the question of identity in a different medium. In his visions, we encounter beggars, peasants upon sticks, old men with caved eyes and silvering manes – toiling their troubles and dragging the wooden legs of their worries. And yet Rembrandt seems to suggest that a person is not an island but a mill, taking energy from outside strengths and capable of producing, in his core, sustenance for the healthy and the ill.
Tiding us through the first three weeks of this theme, Armenian music – deep and interior – rolls like a wave from the horizon of time and washes into the arched caves of our minds. For the final two weeks, it is Schubert we listen to as he traces the unsteady undercurrents of our tremulations and of our triumphs.
Young or old, great or small, this theme is for you, whoever you may be – or wish to be.
Paris, 3 January 2015
Our selection of poetry, music and art for all five weeks of this theme is available by clicking on the tabs above or through the links below: