09 June 2009

Peace and Privacy

Why would anyone want to be famous? Is it a desire for cultural immortality? Is it about overcoming the fear of being thought of as insignificant?

Perhaps the famous Scottish opera singer Mary Garden summed it up best, in a radio interview in her later years, in the 1940s.

I paraphrase her here:

Talent is for one lifetime. Genius is for eternity.

Yet how many people today have heard of Mary Garden? She was certainly famous among those who loved opera in the first half of the 20th century. When she spoke of genius, she was referring to one person in particular, the composer Claude Debussy. Perhaps you have heard of him.

I write about fame quite extensively in my By Any Other Name blog. You might like to become a follower of that one if you have an interest in knowing more about all aspects of identity, celebrity and "having a name".

Mary Garden's interview and singing voice can be heard on YouTube. She was the person who created the role of Mélisande in Debussy's opera of Maeterlinck's play, Pelléas et Mélisande.


I have no desire whatsoever to perform on a stage or on film, especially in a role other than being myself. For me, it is enough, and very pleasant, to become completely absorbed in the many and varied creative pursuits that I have long enjoyed.

Through my blogs, I hope to share that enjoyment with others. As a fairly private person, I prefer to let my writings speak for themselves, without the need for further explanation (unless my words are confusing).

I like to keep my life at a pace of my own choosing, and to enjoy having plenty of time to myself in which to think, write and explore the world. By ensuring that I have an adequate level of comfort, security and solitude, I am able to write reflectively on whatever I want to write about, whether just for myself or for an audience.

Only one lifetime

Life is far too short to spend time doing anything unpleasantly repetitive, beyond whatever is necessary for hygiene and survival.

I enjoy reading widely and have participated in a many training courses, community activities and interpersonal relationships. I now prefer to communicate mainly in writing because it provides the best way for me to ponder over ideas and make the best use of my time. It may also encourage other people to think more deeply about their own thought processes.

Are peace and privacy important to you?

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