“I shall seize Fate by the throat…”

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Ludwig van Beethoven wrote the 9th Symphony while he was completely deaf. Read that sentence again. No, I know you already knew that. I don’t care. Read it again. Let it sink in. Now, go ahead and listen to it. Especially pay attention to 2:50 and beyond, because that’s where God personally comes down from heaven and sings through the choir.

Now, read that first sentence one last time. “Ludwig van Beethoven wrote the 9th Symphony while he was completely deaf.” When I hear the 9th Symphony, I think of the unquenchable passion that Beethoven had, and I let it inspire me.

When Beethoven discovered that his ever worsening deafness was incurable in 1802, he was heartbroken, nearly driven to suicide. In a letter to his brothers known as the Heiligenstadt Testament (which a wonderful theory teacher of mine described as “A suicide note turned ‘I Will Survive'”), Beethoven describes his feelings.

“But little more and I would have put an end to my life – only art it was that withheld me. Ah, it seemed impossible to leave the world until I had produced all that I felt called upon me to produce.”

Twenty two years later, he composed the incredible colossus that is “The Ninth.”

I’m no Beethoven. I don’t deserve to bask in the same candle light, nor do I dare compare my loses in life to what he endured. However, I am no stranger to hopeless feelings, to despair, or even to thoughts of suicide. Like everyone else at the table we call Life, I’ve been dealt more than a few bad cards.

But I’m here for a reason.

There is a symbolic 9th Symphony in my future.

There have definitely been times when, like Beethoven, “art alone withheld me,” but I am here to accomplish something. I am here to do something that will last. I refuse to entertain anymore thoughts of giving up! I refuse to settle for anything less than a Beethovenesque passion for my art! One final quote from this musical powerhouse, and I will close.

‎”I shall seize Fate by the throat; it shall certainly not bend and crush me completely.”


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