Finding roses amongst the thorns

The well-respected Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky dealt with life-long cycles of depression. At the same time, he had a "dogged dedication" to find beauty and meaning in his surroundings. This interplay likely helped him write his most complex and touching pieces.

I am sitting at the open window (at four a.m.) and breathing the lovely air of a spring morning… Life is still good, [and] it is worth living on a May morning… I assert that life is beautiful in spite of everything! This “everything” includes the following items: 1. Illness; I am getting much too stout, and my nerves are all to pieces. 2. The Conservatoire oppresses me to extinction; I am more and more convinced that I am absolutely unfitted to teach the theory of music. 3. My pecuniary situation is very bad. 4. I am very doubtful if Undine will be performed. I have heard that they are likely to throw me over.

In a word, there are many thorns, but the roses are there too.
Posted on July 28, 2016 .