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When I paint, I generally prefer to have silence around me. Sometimes I play music, but not often. And when I do so, I need it to be only background music.
But last week, thinking about how much time I spend painting, and wondering if my brain is really at full capacity when I do so (you know, thinking of preventing Alzheimers and stuff like that... ) I decided to try to listen to an audio book while I was painting. And see... it worked!!! The wonderful thing being that in fact, the book listening helped me to focus on the painting, and vice-versa, the painting helped me to focus on the listening. It really was a revelation to me, and while I was painting and listening to my book, I felt an immense peace within myself, like never before...
The book I was listening to was "Effi Briest", by German author Theodor Fontane, a classic... I have just finished it and enjoyed it very much. I love the German language, it is so rich and offers so many possibilities and nuances, but unfortunately I have no occasion to practice or hear it nowadays. So this was a big plus too!