Saturday, January 28

Missing Music

"And I was born one dark grey morn with music coming in my ears, in my ears." ~Simon and Garfunkel

My sweet cousin posted some lyrics to one of my very, very favorite hymns yesterday; "Be Thou My Vision." When I became Orthodox, I made my sister promise that when I die; we will have a good Irish wake. At that wake, we will sing "Be Thou My Vision" and the "Angles All Around" song. (The Angles All Around song is another story, but a good one.) When my cousin posted this song, I commented that it was my favorite Western Christian hymn, which set me to to wondering what my favorite Eastern Christian hymn is. I am of the West and the East; of the Protestant and the Orthodox. This is why my death will require not only a good sacramental Orthodox funeral but an Irish wake. (I also think that the world owes me some time in pantyhose since I've never gotten married, which would have necessitated three days of bridesmaid services.)

When I was a punk kid in my youth group, we were blessed and lucky to have had Rich Mullins and a host of people he brought with him from Ohio come and love on us. They loved us in the best way they knew how. Spiritually, I was born with people playing guitars and piano all around me. I was given the gift of living communally with poetic artists who would shyly plunk a devastatingly beautiful new tune out on Doris' old piano and say, "Do you like it? Really??" That was the first time in my life that I had been given the gift of healthy community, and I drank it like rain.

This week, Ashley Cleveland came to town. What an amazing set of pipes, what a storyteller!! She toured with Rich in '95, which was after I was out of the youth group picture, and I'm sure he was on the rez. Having her in town strumming her guitar took me back, so far back.

Music is like love. If you are not very careful, it will crack your cold heart open and demand a response of you. These days, I am surrounded with healthy community and beautiful music once again. So much of this experience is like that former one; like the key players in La Belle Epoque, chasing Beauty, Truth, and Love. But tonight, I heard the music like I used to.

I miss Mullins. Tonight, the music came to me as it once had. It cracked my soul open, like a sternum does in heart surgery. I had to force myself to stay in my chair and let the music do its healing work. Painfully. Thankfully.

"I'm alive
I'm being born
I've just arrived
I'm at the door of the place I started out from
And I want back inside..."


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