EVERYTHING PROFOUND, PART III

“Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’” mountaineer John Muir once asked an interviewer. “It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, ‘A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’”

PIANIST MARIA YUDINA: HOLY FOOL

“Yudina was a strange person, and very much a loner.” “Strange things kept happening to her.” “Yudina saw music in a mystical light. For instance, she saw Bach’s Goldberg Variations as a series of illustrations to the Holy Bible,” Shostakovich observed. “She always played as though she were giving a sermon.”