[The first installment of what I’m hoping is a daily – ok, maybe weekly – series of everyday luxuries and pleasures, whether it’s experiences, objects or ideas. Notice more, experience more, I say.]
On Christmas day, onto the suggestions screen of my handy TuneIn radio app popped a cryptic suggestion: CEU Medieval Radio. Instantly smitten (I seem to resonate with that era for some reason – I still pine for The Tudors) it was on all day. And the next.
It comes to the world courtesy of the Budapest-based, George Soros-funded Central European University and its Medieval Studies department, which is dedicated to the era between 300 and 1600. Their invitation to apply exhorts one to start ones future in the past. Delightful.
Both inside and outside of academia, programs like Medieval Studies induce no small amount of eye rolling. They are not terribly “practical”. Alumni don’t make gobs of money with which to endow chairs. Nor do graduates grace the cover of Fortune. But I find the purity and sheer unfashionability of it charming and deeply appealing, the way I find people with deep and obscure craft skills fascinating. That kind of stubbornness in the face of modern rationality is pretty damned miraculous.
But of course it’s the music that matters. Hours of Gregorian Chant with its calming, alpha wave inducing monophonic sounds. Cheery renaissance feast day music. Love songs, I think, though I can’t be sure. I found myself luxuriating in the music the way a cat luxuriates in the sun. I love the history, the ancientness of it; I feel the connection to simpler, though tougher, more fragile times, where life and existence were true miracles. And that connection to the greater human story is in and of itself is soothing and grounding: a reminder of things greater than us, but also how the quotidian connects us to the larger fabric of life and humanity.
All this from an automated suggestion in an app. Quite miraculous where you can find these lttle moments of magic.