Listening to Dvorak with God

The second movement of the American Quartet commenced, and even as the beautiful arpeggios began carrying me away to Spillville and beyond, the perfectionist in me wondered if it was loud enough. However, my heavy limbs could not be moved to reach for the remote to turn up the volume, and I rationalized my inertness by dismissing my perfectionism: If I gave up trying to create the perfect experience (at the ideal volume) and simply let it come to me, then perhaps it would.

At that moment of surrender, the whirring clothes dryer in the next room shut off, and the Dvorak came through in all its purity. I smiled and thanked God for rewarding my faith.

And then the air conditioner clicked on.

Author: Harry Miller

I have traveled and lived in Taiwan, China, and Japan and am now a professor of Asian history and author of Southern Rain, a novel of seventeenth-century China.

10 thoughts on “Listening to Dvorak with God”

  1. I was just going to say, Harry, that you had me at “Dvorak” and then you went and got my whole soul with “God.” I can’t love this short piece of yours enough. (Sigh) I too owe it to the old Czech for many a happy moment.


      1. Yes, I don’t think any composer did it better than Antonin when it comes to chamber music. Brahms is up there, but I love the layers of emotion and depth that are transcribed in Dvorak’s music. I always tell people who say they can’t relate to classical music to go listen to this guy. “You’re wrong.” In so many words, ha.

        Liked by 2 people

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