In her Histoire de Ma Vie, the author George Sand describes an encounter with Frédéric Chopin upon returning one night from a trip to Palma. Chopin was playing a melody on the piano, in the grip of a strange delirium. “He saw himself drowned in a lake,” she wrote:

 

heavy and ice-cold drops of water fell at regular intervals upon his breast, and when I drew his attention to those drops of water which were actually falling at regular intervals upon the roof, he denied having heard them. He was even vexed at what I translated by imitative harmony…. His genius was full of mysterious harmonies of nature, translated by sublime equivalents into his musical thought, and not by a servile repetition of external sounds.

The work that Chopin was playing that night — according to “The hallucinations… More…

Hildegard of Bingen had a close relationship with God. Hildegard was the head of an abbey in the 12th century in what is now Germany. But she was also a seer, a mystic. She had visions. A voice in those visions commanded her to write them down. The result was writing like this:

 

The soul is kissed by God in its innermost regions. With interior yearning, grace and blessing are bestowed. It is a yearning to take on God’s gentle yoke, It is a yearning to give one’s self to God’s Way.

It is this intimacy, this personal and passionate language, that has made Hildegard a subject of fascination over the ages. Human beings are human beings, whatever the time period, but the 12th century can be a particularly difficult era for the contemporary mind to understand. Life… More…