I Walked into a Moment of Greatness
“I walked into a moment of greatness. There was a wave of pure emotion running through the air like a pulse recording the beat of souls. I stood against a wall, the house was in darkness, light on the stage.
The last act of Meistersinger had begun. I listened. All of me heard. If that straight line of terrific tensity which stretched continuously between myself and the music, growing more and more sensitive each moment, could have existed indefinitely until the line became inseparable with the state about it what would have happened?
Everything had merged there was no possibility of any retention of the separateness of a human self from the space of sound into which that sentient self had projected. An extension of feeling and a diffusion of music with it creating a condition of oneness. A passing of each into the other.
Sound, Giving, Will, Feeling, an insistent entity reached. Was there any part of me that did not respond? I was not a woman. I became merely a part of the attunement of the moment as did all the others. The strangers standing so near that I could have touched them and I think we were touching. We had dropped our little selves we were not but something greater than ourselves was breathing. What gave it the impetus to breathe? And if it could have endured, if a climax could have been reached and held for the fraction of a second - would not that instant have become infinite? Would it have been death? Or escape into a quickening of life?”
Katharine Rhoades April 1915.
Ms. Rhoades was an artist as well as a writer. I found this excerpt about her work interesting.
”The terms in which critics evaluated Rhoades' work at the 1915 exhibition place her paintings within a loosely defined expressionism, which prioritized emotion, intuition, and spirituality. Charles Caffin in the New York American insisted that Rhoades' reliance was on intuition, rather than observation: "Miss Rhoades seems to have a capacity of psychically sensing her subject" (19). Agnes Meyer, a journalist, photographer and fellow member of the Stieglitz circle reviewed Rhoades' work at the time of the 1915, commenting on the artist's individual vision:“her whole impulse to paint seems to spring from a close communion with and a desire to impart the underlying significance of the world as she sees it . . . There seems at first to be a strange and foreign quality in her portraits but a sympathetic study reveals the fact that she has seen further or at least differently than we (Meyer 8).”Meyer again points to Rhoades' ability to visually articulate a metaphysical consciousness and stresses her status as a seer, psychic, or medium through which highly developed states of consciousness are expressed.”
The article in which this excerpt appears was found online.