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                                     Beethoven's Ninth Symphony
        It has been called the greatest audio entity one
 could ever listen to; a song which can pierce the soul of
 even the most dedicated music-hater: BeethovenÕs Ninth
 Symphony.  Not only has it been designated thus; also, as
 one of the few truly divinely inspired works, one which most
 men can only marvel at, as they wallow in their appropriate
 humility.  These creations, however, are definitely not the
 only aspects of entities beyond the scopes of men; there are
 far more examples, which are seen every day, but often
         I was walking outside, with this song echoing in the
 recesses of my mind, on a dismal, overcast day in the
 Autumnal quarter, a day when where the streets blended with
 the atmosphere, when one could hardly look up without
 feeling the singe of the wind against oneÕs face.  To me,
 these days have always conjured up images of some distant,
 looming storm, some silent tempest which, if not otherwise
 distracted will soon wreak mayhem and disaster on my
         This day had an intense air about it, as do others
 of its ilk.  This is most likely the fault of the storm
 under which it is shadowed, as though it and its inhabitants
 are uneasy and harrowed about the imminent predator waiting
 overhead to pounce.
         As the sky overhead swam with deeper and deeper
 shades of gray and hopeless black, the song in my mind was
 reaching some vocal crescendo in the fourth movement, a
 better foreteller of the gale I could not imagine.  While
 the winds bullied and tormented the defenseless
 neighborhood, I started for my house.
         Unexpectedly, as the crescendo was losing speed, a
 quiet, pacific violin entered the musical fray in my brain,
 and the entire mood of the symphony mellowed, the winds
 themselves pacified, seemingly under LudwigÕs fickle
 dominion.  Thinking the storm had passed, I continued
 blissfully onward to the meadows which were my destination.
         Again I was assaulted, this time by a different part
 of the symphony; not too long after the first chorale.  This
 was the startling and almost fearful, but still uplifting,
 part in which the female and male vocals collided like two
 huge tidal waves with the power to splinter a fleet of ships
 with the German Alle Menschen repeated several times.  Upon
 this onslaught of euphony, I turned from whatever I might
 have been thinking before, and looked at some violently
 twisting and rising leaves and other debris, and gazed at
 the playful heavens, again ominous.
         Annoyed with Beethoven and the cruel elements, I
 stood there, unmoving; indecisive, not knowing whether to
 turn around or pursue my present course, I felt the excited
 chorale still striking some unknown and inexplicable fear
 within me, as though some divine creature were about to
 strike me down in some vehemence which lies well beyond the
 realms of verbal description.  So, as the chorus continued
 repeating its faithful mantra, the winds again rose up
 stronger than before, as twigs began to snap and fall about
 me; I was still, yet deeply moved.
         Perplexed at the whimsy antics of nature, I was
 about to retreat to my home, when, in the remarkable
 symphony, a single male vocal broke through the complicated
 entanglement of godly voices, and I, despite the protests of
 my superego, decided to continue on with some alien, renewed
 vigor against the gusty weather, as though I were the bearer
 of news about the winner of a war or some other momentous
 aftermath.  At this, as though impressed with my display
 of singular determination, the wind made itself placid,
 laying down before me.
         Violins were heard, along with the driving, male
 voice. Suddenly, completely without warning and all at once,
 what seemed like throngs of angelic, female voices sang as
 though sent on an appeal to God on the eve of apocalypse.
 They continued, soon joined by male voices, and other
 instruments, in the most spiritual and epiphytic
 reverberation IÕve ever had the pleasure of witnessing, and,
 seemingly, all in my favor, against cruel and remorseless
 nature, pleading to let me pass.  I, however, felt like only
 a petty bystander in this competition between the symphony
 and the elements, completely unable to comprehend, let alone
 justify either sideÕs wish, only able to observe the outcome
 and obey it as the gospel that I knew it was.
         Thus, whether or not I ever achieved my destination
 is beside the point. My sojourn in that small neighborhood
 taught me perhaps what is lifeÕs most important lesson.
 This lesson is clear: there are many things in this world
 completely beyond most menÕs small intellects.  They may
 manifest themselves in certain artworks, novels, or musical
 masterworks; however, these manifestations only serve as
 reminders to arrogant man.  While it is true that these
 manifestations are created by singular members of the
 selfsame race, these members serve only as conduits of a
 greater, nearly incomprehensible power; something which
 they, themselves, may often forget.
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