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happy 240th birthday beethoven!

i am fascinated by ludwig van beethoven. a man of genius, of tremendous passion, conflicted & in pain most of his life plagued by illness & deafness.  a man of infinite contradiction he was volatile and known for fits of rage and yet created some of the most beautiful and powerful compositions the world has ever known. today we celebrate the day of his birth. i would like to remember his gifts of music, but also a quote that reminds us despite whatever pains we have in life there is much more we are here to do…to create, to give, to share with the world…may we let the story within us to spill over into something beautiful…

“I must confess that I lead a miserable life. For almost two years I have ceased to attend any social functions, just because I find it impossible to say to people: I am deaf. If I had any other profession, I might be able to cope with my infirmity; but in my profession it is a terrible handicap.” At times driven to extremes of melancholy by his affliction, Beethoven described his despair in a long and poignant note that he concealed his entire life. Dated October 6, 1802 and referred to as “The Heiligenstadt Testament, ” it reads in part, “O you men who think or say that I am malevolent, stubborn or misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me. You do not know the secret cause which makes me seem that way to you and I would have ended my life — it was only my art that held me back. Ah, it seemed impossible to leave the world until I had brought forth all that I felt was within me.” – from

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About the Author

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Zane Wilemon is the Founder and Executive Director of Ubuntu. Zane discovered his life’s calling after purchasing a one-way ticket to Kenya in 2000. After living in Kenya for a year, Zane’s life was changed as he recognized that our lives are inextricably tied to God and one another. UBUNTU’s core value is to create opportunities that empower each other to lift ourselves beyond our perceived limitations. Zane is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and his Masters in Divinity from the Seminary of the Southwest.

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