In the film version of James Dickey’s Deliverance, a story about nothing but the brutal divisiveness of modern life, there is a scene where a city slicker form Atlanta pulls out a guitar, while waiting for gas at a backwoods store. He is a strange in a strange land – and indeed a self-divided man, a true ‘modern.’ But as he strums, his chords are echoed by a banjo from the porch nearby.
The fugue goes on, faster and more complex with each passing phrase. The old man pumping gas begins to dance. Then guitar and banjo finally join in an exuberant duet. For a brief moment the whole world is in harmony – the whole word is in step.
Melvin Maddocks, in an article called, What became of the art to uplift?* originally published in the Christian Science Monitor, circa June 1985.
I originally had this as 'the at to uplift' which didn't make sense, but even the 'art to uplift' doesn't sound quite right. Perhaps it was the 'art of uplift?' Who knows!