Thomas Mann wrote of Casals: "For me his existence is a source of joy. He is one of those artists who come to the rescue of humanity's honour".
I have a number of notebooks and scrapbooks where I've collected things that have had a positive impact on my life, or just plain make me smile - my website is a happy continuation of this habit - and the following is a wonderful quote from Joys and Sorrows by Pablo
Casals, which saw me safely through my son's schooldays:
"Sometimes I look about me with a feeling of complete dismay. In the confusion which afflicts the world today. I see on all sides a disrespect for the very values of life. Each second, we live in a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that never was before and will never be again. And what do we teach our children in school? We teach them that two and two make four and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the world there is no other child exactly like you. In the millions of years that have passed there has never been another child like you. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must cherish one another. You must work - we all must work - to make this a world worthy of its children."
I have one other thing for which to thank Pablo Casals: my son repaid me one Christmas for all the weighty tomes I'd bought him in the past with two whoppers, one of which was a second-hand copy of Pablo Casals: A Biography by HL Kirk. I dutifully read it, and since then it has served as an excellent device for wedging our bedroom sash-window open on hot summer nights!
Pau Carlos Salvador Defillo de Casals : Born 29 December 1876 in Vendrell,
Catalonia, died 22 October 1973 in San Juan, Puerto Rico