Stephen Horenstein
Music, Arts and Society

Random thoughts at 3pm

Jean Paul Sartre has a few things to say about 3 p.m.,* but I have others on my mind. (*see La Nausée; translation: Nausea)

The grey-blue sky hypnotizes, especially when rain does not grace our view.  It’s neither day or night.

Trees are cold from inactivity as are these limbs giving cool comfort, immense static motion all while the trees are hibernating.  Like most of us, I wait for something to break, crash, gurgle, or shriek.  March fatigue knows no boundaries, lolling us to sleep, mid-day.  How decadent.  How dangerous.

The pine needles are too soft to awaken us. Only the whir of the drills, far in the distance, are the constants.  The windows are fully blemished from the dirty rains coming from the south and southwest.  The drops make no recognizable shapes. The view is tainted. So are our newspapers.

Tones without melody.  Crashes without rhythm.  Time standing still.

My fourth cup of coffee has lulled me to sleep.

Day has become night, but now it is 3:10 p.m.

The country waits for its ruler to rule, but he curses and blames everyone but himself.  Pitiful.

Likewise, rustlings from thousands of kilometers due West, even more disgusting.

We celebrate images of the earth from our own space vehicle.  It all looks so good. But how can we celebrate when we know what the space camera cannot see?

Reams of used paper are strewn everywhere.  I am saddened by so many trees destroyed for documenting all my discarded words.

All seems futile, especially in my 3pm passage through an early night.

There are no bird calls, no children’s’ voices, but only the crank of cars.  I wish it would rain, for at least the rhythm of the drops might get me dancing the samba again.

I am waiting for April when everything will change for the better.

Do I really believe this?

Do you really believe this?

About the Author
Stephen Horenstein is a composer, researcher and educator. His repertoire of musical works has been performed and recorded worldwide. He has been a recipient of the Israel Prime Minister's Prize for Composers and the National Endowment of the Arts (USA). His teaching has included Bennington College, Brandeis University, Tel Aviv University, Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance; residencies at Stanford University, York University, California Institute of the Arts, and others. He is Founder and Director of the Jerusalem Institute of Contemporary Music, established in 1988 to bring the music of our time to a wider audience.
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