Work on hand

He learns the piano. At the beginning, the piano teacher told him that when practicing the piano, he must pay attention to expressing the emotions of the song with his own expressions. Only in this way can he understand the song well and help him play it well.

Hearing such words, he began to ponder over the tune carefully, using facial emotions and expressions to reflect the feelings he felt. This is indeed the case. Whenever he plays the piano, his rich facial expressions are praised by people. People say that he is immersed in music. Seeing him playing music is like swimming in the world of music, which is especially useful. After receiving good reviews, he became even crazier in his facial expressions.

One day, he went to a master class. The piano master in the class asked him to play a piece of music, and he went on stage generously and played it emotionally. Watching him play the piano, the master frowned. At the end of the song, the master said: “I laughed when I saw you playing the piano just now, but your piano sound did not laugh.”

In a word, he was stunned, as if a basin of cold water poured down his head. But if you think about it carefully, the master makes sense. His facial expressions are very rich, and he can make a wonderful laugh, but the sound of the piano fails to reflect the laugh. As a pianist, the most important thing is the sound of the piano, not the expression.

Since then, he has put more energy on practicing the piano. The speculation and expression of facial expressions are nothing more than a foil to the sound of the piano. Later, when he talked about this experience, he said that the real expression is not on the face, but more importantly, on your hands. You have to work.

He is Lang Lang. When he played the piano, he was full of expressions, and he was not criticized for it, because he really did have work on his hands.

When you really have work at hand, what can you fail to do?

The lookout tower

What is the most strategic point from which human misery can be better monitored?

A game room, a confessional, a warm ballroom are culminating research sites, where the awakened eye will penetrate like an arrow into human psychology. But there is another place advantageously placed on the panorama of the world, or on the social scene, an obligatory point where the pains of man flow and where humanity sincerely shows itself{174}in all its poor misery. This place of transcendent observation is within the reach of any curious spirit. It is simply the pharmacies.

The apothecary is one for whom there are no secrets. He knows how small, how weak and how cowardly we are. Located on your counter, no effort needs to be made to find out our weaknesses. From daybreak until night closes, all of us eagerly go to him and ask for health, providential health for our great cowardice and our stupendous fear of dying. And all our vices of lust, gluttony, unrepentant sensuality, the apothecary knows. With even more sincerity than to the confessor, we reveal to the apothecary our weaknesses. Oh discreet and tacit pharmacist, who knows how to keep silent so philosophically and who does not keep the slightest smile of contempt for our misery!

Sometimes an unhealthy instinct of curiosity has drawn me to the pharmacy, and there I have taken pleasure in assisting in the development and{175}site of the gestures, the words, the eloquent details of the public, who come with their recipes and with their anxiety. But pharmacies keep a vast relationship of categories to each other. Not all are equally entertaining and enlightening. The drugstore in the slums, for example, only shows us one side of humanity; poverty, vile poverty. And when poverty meets disease, then a spectacle arises that is not at all tempting. There are other suggestive pharmacies. Those located in wealthy neighborhoods, these do offer a long subject of experimentation! They also have their absence of tragedy in favor. The tragic element of the poor drugstores becomes tragic-comic back in the drugstores that supply the rich. Because the rich man is a being who fears death with a ridiculous fear. He is even afraid of the suspicion of dying. Her regal sensuality twitches at the slightest threat of pain. A simple headache forces him to set in motion the doctor, the apothecary, all the people nearby. And they are right after all. Death, for those who suffer in life{176}the hunger, the cold, the servitude and the vilification, can even be a kind door of escape, of liberation; but he who possesses everything, it is only fair that he be upset at the idea of ​​abandoning some things and pleasures that will not be easily substitutable in another hypothetical world. On the other hand, the wretched feels when he dies that he is entitled to compensation; Before any possible court of law, the poor are in the case of demanding the payment of arrears. But whoever has had and enjoyed everything, that one, even if he does not declare it, maintains the suspicion that a just later court would have to take into account the previous satisfactions. But this was already said by other more competent lips. “Before a camel will enter through the hole of a needle”, and so on.

Even better than in the pharmacies of the wealthy neighborhoods, is to be located in those others in the center of the city. The City pharmacies are the most instructive, the deepest, and the most complex. Half an hour of observation in one of them is equivalent to reading a serial. Don’t you want to enter? …{177}

Here’s a City pharmacy. She is usually a foreigner and has unintelligible German, French or English inscriptions written on the panels of her façade, perhaps because the common people of mourners are more confident in the pharmacopoeia of distant towns: we must not forget that in every sick person there is a superstitious. Look around the shelves and counters: they are full of jars, bottles, packages and wrappings, whose legends tell us about providential, omnipotent, all-powerful specifics. The miracle is there, the dreamed miracle of the sick. None of those panaceas waver or waver; all categorically affirm its healing virtue. They are today what the visionaries, the prophets and the chosen of God were before; they cure mysterious ills, bring vigor to the downcast, give strength to the discouraged. It is a repetition, in short, of the old magic. And it is that man, no matter how hard he tries to hide it, is still the big boy, worshiper of the fable.

Numerous posters hang randomly from the shelves, columns and walls.{178}Advised by striking drawings, these posters advertise the multiple and strict virtues of the specifics, the medicinal waters, the ointments and the herbs. Science appears there converted into a toothpick in the public square. And doctoral signatures of doctors are seen, formally attesting to the accuracy of what the specifics promise. Industry, commerce, claim, trickery, big words, huge affirmations, all confused with university apothegms and bathed in a scientific luster.

It’s a great observatory, for sure. Do not hesitate to take advantage of it. From there the trembling, fragile nucleus, representative of poor humanity, is encompassed. Outside, through the windows, you can see the whirlwind of people, that sui generis crowd that goes and runs through the City neighborhood with a turbulent tidal tremor. Crazy and feverish, vibrant, the crowd passes by in pursuit of their thick ideals; money, like a celestial star, guides you through your failures and sorrows; greed spurs him on, and brutal work, never satisfied, lends him that transcendental and unique concern.{179}

An aura of strength emanates from that crowd; the very dark and heavy houses suggest ideas of incontestable vigor. Everything that lives and transits there speaks of strength and power. Banks full of money — supreme power significance — and luscious restaurants, as well as offices where big business is enshrined, all bring powerful suggestions to the imagination. They are undoubtedly dense and firm things, vigorous, formidable things and crowds. However, in the pharmacy is the secret; there the double bottom, the reverse, the key is revealed to us.

Those same men of strong appearance and manner enter the pharmacy and humbly ask for a tonic. A panacea, for God’s sake, to help us bear the incredible burden of life! So the secret is revealed, the lie undone. Beneath the apparent strength, passerby humanity drags its aching and broken guts. From the powerful whirlwind that passes, individuals are shedding, entering pharmacies and asking for the elixir that has to be provided.{180}give them the strength to keep going, to continue the fight. Science gives them its warmth like the maternal hand that wipes the sweaty forehead of the warrior. And then back to the ranks. Again and always, until the final final stage!

Arsenic, iodine, mercury, cinchona. All reviving substances are put into contribution. Pungent and exotic smells, harsh tastes, indiscernible color nuances. Organisms, receiving the injection of these mysterious substances, perceive it as a sensation of material joy, in the way that the tired horse leaps and becomes enraged when the spur of the impatient master spurs it on. Organisms jump, fill with unexpected vigor, and the race takes on a sudden speed. Forward always forward!

Alcohol is also asked for its spurring virtue. Along with pharmacies, bars and cafes, food stalls and beer halls draw the attention of the fighters. Come in and comfort yourselves! And they pour in, turbulently, at the request of a multi-nutrition. They gluttonously eat two carri{181}They gorge themselves on ham and eggs and butter, the red meat dripping fat from their lips. Large and daily losses must be compensated with overfeeding. To be able to reach so many businesses, to hold the vertices of so many greedy combinations, it is necessary to exalt the personality and make a single individual possess the aptitude of ten or twenty.

They devour, they swallow, they drink copious glasses of warm liquor. The languid and lazy appetite also requires the spur of the aperitif. The demonic muse of alcohol flies over the foreheads and helps them go mad even more, much more still. All vibrant, tense, like boxers in the stadium. Eating, drinking, gesturing. Red faces, bright eyes. And walk, walk without brakes, from one idea to another, from this to that project. Add figures, raise mountains of ideals. Handling banknotes with a nervous hand. Feel the infernal and sublime intoxication of spending money. See the coins come and go, to the beat of a mad rhythm. Hear the voice of the witches that scream in the soul,{182} as in Macbeth’s soul: “You will be king: you will be rich” …

Meanwhile the apothecary combines his drugs.

In moments of truce, when our spirit sinks into its solitude, the intrinsic and luminous revelation of the astonishing deceptions in which we live comes to us. During those stops that we make on the side of the road, the final synthesis of things comes to our imagination, and we see that, for example, all this that alienates us so much, stupidly ends up in a four-foot-wide gap in the ground. The apothecary and the undertaker are those adverse friends who do not tire of waiting for us, because they know that we cannot miss the appointment. Then a great reluctance enters us, and like the cenobites we would like to renounce all struggle, since everything ends so simply, so briefly.

But fates want us to close our ears to the ultra-epicurean seduction of mystical renunciation. And again, after that moment of intellectual hallucination, the man returns to the whirlwind. Nobody gets rid of{183}those lucid moments in which life shows itself in all its integrity. They all rejoin the tide, accepting as a solution the madness of this implausible travesty, without purpose, without purpose or explanation. Where is it going? Nobody knows. The world ignores it. A vague word has been invented: progress. But the truth is that the world, society, all of us, obey that law of motion called life, from whose law no one can escape, both the plant and man. And insatiable life, like children, always asks for more.

Live longer, with the greatest extent and intensity possible. More … Apothecary, what are you doing that you don’t mix your magic drugs faster?