My first patient and Beethoven’s testament
My first patient became my first teacher.
A girl of 16 years old was brought to me – recently her condition was close to suicide. Her eyes looked inward, she was in a daze, the words she found with difficulty. The girl put the Lusher test, and, of course, the first color was chosen black.
Among hundreds of reproductions, she chose Pieta Michelangelo, where the tragic madonna looked at her dead son, and the mournful insensibility of her beautiful face resembled Chekhov’s words about the beauty of human grief.
Numbness, gray clothes, something monastic in the form of a girl aroused sympathy, a desire to help and revive this stone with music.
I played and asked what she liked.
The girl chose the Beethoven’s Eighth Sonata, where the sufferer got out of trouble in humility and complaint of the second part.
Beethoven created this music after he suffered the main misfortune of his life: deafness. Desperate Ludwig wrote to his brothers in a will drawn up in Heiligenstadt that he nearly committed suicide, but found salvation in his art.
The text of the will allows us to understand the mood of the music that our patient chose:
“My brothers read and fulfill after my death.
Oh, people who consider or call me hostile, stubborn, misanthrope, how unfair you are to me!
For six years, as I suffer from an incurable disease, I lacked the spirit to tell people: speak louder, shout, because I am deaf. My misfortune is doubly painful for me because I have to hide it.
For me there is no rest in human society, no intimate conversation, no mutual outpourings. When I am in society, I am thrown into a fever from fear that my condition will be revealed.
However, I felt humiliation when someone, being near me, heard a flute from afar, but I did not hear anything, or he heard the shepherd singing, but again I did not hear anything! Such cases drove me to despair; a little more, and I would have committed suicide. Only one thing held me back – art.
I owe my art that I did not commit suicide.
Oh people, if you ever read it, then remember that you were unfair to me; let the unfortunate one be comforted when he sees a fellow man by misfortune, who, despite all the opposition of nature, did everything in his power to join the ranks of worthy artists and people.
Goodbye and do not forget me at all. Be happy.
Ludwig Beethoven. Heiligenstadt, 1801. ”
It was this tune that my patient eagerly listened to. Music comforted the suffering. Beethoven, having created this music, helped himself and other people. The girl also constantly wanted to listen to Bach’s organ prelude. This is a sadly gloomy music, drilling the sound space in the film of Tarkovsky Mirror. Sound clots are immersed in the foundations of life, but the harshly true melody is comforting.
I played lighter music, but she persistently returned to the deep dark melodies of suffering. We rocked the pendulum of musical perception. Months passed, she again came to listen to music. And gradually changed. The black color in Lusher’s test floated to a lower place, where he should be. The choice of the gloomy picture was replaced by the image of some pretty berry in a still life.
And she herself ceased to be a petrified statue of anxiety, and became a lively cheerful girl who had her own concerns, and she no longer needed a music therapist and music therapy. She left like a swallow in Andersen’s fairy tale — frozen, they warmed her, and then she flew away because she had things to do.
This choice of black color, a tragic picture and music became the basis for understanding the psychological level. Then, the music chosen by this patient helped many people clouded by their emotional state.
I played lighter music, but she persistently returned to the deep dark melodies of suffering. We rocked the pendulum of musical perception. Months passed, she again came to listen to music. And gradually changed. The black color in Lusher’s test floated to a lower place, where he should be. The choice of the gloomy picture was replaced by the image of some pretty berry in a still life …