Sometimes the most caring thing we can do for someone is to be present in a time of need. The simple act of human contact and what it represents is all we can do, and enough.
- Michael Dorris, The Broken Cord (Harper Perennial, 1990), a true story of a man’s commitment to a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, whom he chose to adopt.
- Karhryn Davis, Aurelia, Aurélia: A Memoir (Greywolf Press, 2022): “The subject is the death of Davis’s husband, Eric, from cancer. While Eric is dying, the two spend their mornings side by side in bed.”
- Umberto Boccioni, States of Mind: Those Who Stay (1911)
- Umberto Boccioni, States of Mind: Those Who Leave (1911)
Music: songs and other short pieces
- James Taylor, You’ve Got a Friend
- Carole King, You’ve Got a Friend
- The Beatles, Here, There and Everywhere
- Nawang Khechog, Presence
Film and Stage
From the dark side:
- Charulata (The Lonely Wife) is Satyajit Ray’s study of a woman whose husband pays her little attention.
- Tokyo Story, a tragedy of inattention and indifference
- Letter from an Unknown Woman, a story of unrequited romantic “love,” a pregnancy, a child and indifference
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Edward Elgar, Violin Sonata in E Minor, Op. 82 (1918) (approx. 25-29’): Elgar described the sonata: “The first movement is bold and vigorous, then a fantastic, curious movement with a very expressive middle section; a melody for the violin they say it is as good or better than anything I have done in the expressive way … the last movement is very broad and soothing, like the last movement of the Second Symphony.” Elgar’s friend Marie had just died. A reviewer analyzes the conclusion of the sonata: “After one last outburst during the development the music gives the impression of settling down for a peaceful end. It is here that Elgar breaks off from the themes of the movement to quote a more impassioned version of the central theme from the Romance, in memory of his friend Marie. The coda emerges peacefully before gathering both strength and warmth for one last outburst of emotion with the firm affirmation of the E major tonality ending things on a more hopeful note.” It is as though he was standing by a dear friend. Top recorded performances are by Sammons & Murdoch in 1935 (mvt 1; mvt 2; mvt 3), Rostal & Horsley in 1954, Kennedy & Pettinger in 1984, McAslan & Blakely in 1985, Vengerov & Chachamov in 1995, Little & Roscoe in 1999 ***, Lamsma & Miura in 2005, Crow & Stewart in 2006, van Keulen & Brautigam in 2007, Bezrodny & Ilja in 2007, Siem & Korobeinikov in 2007, Marshall-Luck & Rickard in 2012, Ehnes & Armstrong in 2016, Waley-Cohen & Watkins in 2017, and Capuçon & Hough in 2021.
- Vaughan Williams, Hugh the Drover: well-bred Mary falls in love with Hughand they stand by each other to the stocks, from which they are freed.
- Pēteris Vasks, Cello Concerto No. 2, “Klātbūtne” (Presence) (2012) (approx. 24-38’): “we hear both Vasks’s grief over the world that is and his idealism over the world that could be.” Vasks explains: “With every breath I am here in this world with all my ideals and dreams of a better world.”
- Gernsheim, Symphony No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 32 (1875)
- German, pieces for violin and piano
- Cassadesus, works for violin and piano, including Sonata Nos. 1 and 2, and Hommage a Chausson for Violin and Piano, Op. 51
- Cassadesus, Suite for Two Violins, Op. 39 (In Memory of Gabriel Fauré)
- Raga Madhmad sarang, an afternoon raag (performances by Amonkar, Rajurkar and Bismillah Khan)
- Matthew Shipp Trio, “Piano Song”
- Emily D’Angelo, “Enargeia” “demonstrates D’Angelo’s ability to enter into the heart of the music’s matter, unleashing its innate spirit.” [Pwyll ap Siôn, Gramophone magazine, November 2021 issue, p. 75.]