Saturday 22 January 2011

How to Handel money

'What right have you to take the word 'wealth' 
which originally meant 'well-being' 
and degrade and narrow it by confining it 
to certain sorts of material objects measured by money?'

John Ruskin

A question remains about the validity of a particular acquisition -
 where, if anywhere does one draw the line 
between self-indulgence and potential need? 
To take but one example, is it justifiable to spend money 
purchasing a recording of Handel's Oratorio Theodora, 
or to invite a group of friends to dine 
in a relatively expensive restaurant?

There is no easy answer to this puzzle -
simplicity is about acceptance of limits, 
yet it cannot exclude the enrichment of music 
and the celebration of friendship. 
Both are rich in ends. Both contribute in subtle, meaningful ways. 
So the answer depends on motivations and frequencies, 
priorities and budget as well as the maintenance of balance between 
kindling the spirit and living the virtues of a simple life.

From Timeless Simplicity by John Lane.

It is better to have fewer wants than to have larger resources.
St. Augustine.

(I want to be able to sight sing-along
to Handel's Oratorio,
but no amount of money is ever going to make that happen.)


  1. You've given us a lot of food for thought in one post!

    I think occasional splurges on an unnecessary but pleasure-giving item or experience are justifiable.

  2. If you really want it - and can afford it - buy it.
    Even sight-reading music lessons can be purchased...

  3. What a lovely blog! I saw Lorraine Hunt perform Theodora at Gleinbourne one spectacular year. It was the best thing I ever saw. I really mourn the loss of her god given voice. We were booked in to see her doing some Bach cantatas when she had to withdraw with back pain. I knew that would be the end of her. And so it was. However she has left us with a glorious legacy.

  4. In the meantime, your images sing beautifully.

  5. I spend just enough money to live well. That's my answer. Vague, but effective.