Listening to the rumble of the surf he'd tried to imagine the moment when Beethoven had thought of the theme for his Ninth Symphony, alle Menschen werden Brüder - surely one of the greatest thoughts anyone had ever had. It had changed the world; the world had been just a little different after that theme had been composed. But what had happened? Where had the thought come from? He wondered if the world itself had changed, cracked, or decomposed, thereby permitting Beethoven to think that particular run of notes. Or had he, truly, thought it up all on his own? Or was it chance? Perhaps his theme was already out there and he'd only stumbled on it, like Columbus discovering America. When you got right down to it, he considered, it was the question, Did God exist? If Beethoven had merely found his theme, God must have been its true composer; whereas, if Beethoven had created it himself, he was God, or so near it made no difference. Which people hated to admit, so they thought up words like luck and talent.