When Glenn Gould retired from playing the great concert halls of the world, he climbed aboard a Canadian train and rode it north to the end of the line. During this journey, Glenn recorded the conversations of his fellow passengers and mixed them into a strangely compelling audio presentation called The Idea of North (1967). It was the first installment in his Solitude Trilogy.
Solitude is when you push the world away.
Isolation is when the world pushes you away.
A simple reversal of energy is all that separates the two.
Energy must always have a direction. Glenn Gould knew this.
Music is energy.
Life is energy.
Notes in a song can go North or South: up or down.
Life has its ups and downs, too.
The movement of music West to East – left to right – is tied to the passage of time. So we experience music all in one direction, exactly as we experience life. The speed of music is called its tempo.
What is the tempo of your life?
The line traced by the rising and falling of the notes as we move left to right is called musical contour: melody.
If your emotions could be charted throughout the day, you would see that a day, a month, a season, a life has a melody, too.
Does night follow day,
or does day follow night,
or does the earth just spin
around a ball of light?
Evidently, these are the things I think about when I’m on vacation.
When I’m not on vacation I think about how to attract customers to your business.
I’ll bet you’ll be glad when I get back from vacation, right? I look at what I’ve written so far and think, “It’s good that I don’t keep track of how many people subscribe and unsubscribe, because a Monday Morning Memo like this one is likely to set a new record for losing the largest number of readers in a single day.”
That’s as much as I had written when I received an email from Mia Erichson, the woman that caused Jeffrey Eisenberg to abandon Brooklyn.
This is what she wrote:
For no reason that matters to this discussion, this afternoon I was thinking about The Trivium.
The Trivium is a systematic method of critical thinking used to derive factual certainty from information perceived with the traditional five senses: sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell.
The Trivium – is the lower division of the Seven Thinking Arts
- Grammar – the art of letters
- Logic – use and study of valid reasoning
- Rhetoric – the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the capability of writers or speakers to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations
The Quadrivium – is the upper division of the Seven Thinking Arts
- Arithmetic (number)
- Geometry (number in space)
- Music (number in time)
- Astronomy (number in space and time)
Mia then went on to describe – rather brilliantly and with details – how the curriculum of Wizard Academy might be organized in a similar way, thereby giving students a clear path of progression toward their goals.
Mia’s note was encouraging to me for a variety of reasons:
- It made my wandering thoughts feel a little less crazy and a lot less irrelevant. (I’d never heard of the Quadrivium, so I Googled it and learned that Plato and Pythagorus and the scholars who followed them thought of medicine and architecture as practical arts, but the Trivium and Quadrivium were the liberal or “thinking” arts. Wow. People have been pondering this idea of mapping things in space and time for more than two thousand years.)
- It reminded me that Wizard Academy is being built by many hands and minds. Now in its fifteenth year, the Academy is growing increasingly independent of Pennie and me with every passing month. This is a very, very good thing.
- Mia is the very successful Chief Marketing Officer of a large national company. Her 9 to 5 job is similar to my own and her idle thoughts are just as crazy as my own, so maybe there’s nothing wrong with me after all.
Perhaps Pennie and I need to take more vacations.
Roy H. Williams
The audio version of the MMMemo will be sent out a half-day late this week since the only way to record it in Paris was through the built-in mic on the wizard’s laptop and anyone who knows him knows that wasn’t going to happen, no way, no how. Speaking of Paris, I created a long and winding rabbit hole for you this week as we strolled hither, thither and yon taking photos of that city. This rabbit hole is 54 levels deep. Epic.
Few inventors ever see their innovations brought to market. Most of them fail completely. InventHelp has been improving the odds for their inventor-clients for more than 30 years. Listen in as Roving Reporter Rotbart quizzes InventHelp’s Nicole Lininger about some of the methods used by the lucky few who beat the long odds. MondayMorningRadio.com