Saturday, 31 March 2018

Keep Singing

In my last blog, I wrote that this week I would blog about why people travel. But then I realized it would be Easter Sunday when I posted, and that calls for a different kind of reflection.  The other topic will wait.

Easter Morning Alleluia
Four years ago, on impulse, I created a crow piece to celebrate Easter – a raucous, mouth-wide-open squawking crow to celebrate a sublime and sacred event. In my blog that Sunday, I wrote about heart songs – we all have a song in our heart that becomes loud and glad when we are doing what gives us joy. Even the crow! The crow, and all of us, too, for that matter, were created to sing the song that only we can sing.

In that blog, I wrote, “It takes courage to follow the song in our hearts, and especially to believe in the song when it is being drowned out by other noises. Today is Easter Sunday, the day that rings out with songs of joy. Whatever your spiritual persuasion, you can still be stirred by the universal message of the Easter story. It’s all about having a heartsong and the courage to follow it. The Creator had a heartsong and acted on it. Creation – the world we live in and all that it contains, including us  – is the result of that song. The thing deep within us that makes our heart sing is the best of us, it is who we are meant to be..

When the song within us was lost, Courage stepped up and in love, did the hard thing to restore the music. The message of Easter is that the song planted within us cannot die. The name of the song is Love, and love is stronger than death.”

Well. I loved my “Easter Morning Alleluia” piece and all that it said to me, but when it was put on display in a show, it sold. That’s good news, but I no longer have it to hang on the wall. So now (Friday) I feel the urge to create another work of art. The song in my heart is a bit muted, but working on a new piece, I’m sure, will raise the volume.

The piece I envision is based on something I experienced in California when we were on vacation. We had been driving most of the day on busy interstate and state highways in California, and discovered to our consternation that many California drivers are rude beyond reckoning, zig-zagging in and out of traffic, cutting you off, flashing their lights, even when you are going over the speed limit in the center lane. We zoomed by non-stop commercial districts, chains of cheap motels, golden arches, one mall morphing into another. It was totally nerve-racking. And then we got to our turn-off, a much quieter road that would be leading to our destination, a small town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

It took only a few minutes for our racing hearts to notice the peace. Rolling hills, dotted with cattle and bare-branched oak trees, bathed us in a balm of pastoral beauty. We caught our breath, let the tension leak out of us, and gradually tuned into the song in our hearts. Those trees had their own song – to my eyes, they were dancing, their twisted limbs silhouetted against the sky, going this way and that, as though expressing joy.*xIBtQEYaAIoYd8WLSwIBYqQ0Rbeuw/
That week, wherever we traveled on the country roads, we saw them over and over again. No photo can capture the sense of joy I felt traveling through that pastoral beauty, but the scenes are lodged in my heart.

It’s Easter joy, made manifest through Creation, and I’m wishing it for you. 

I’ve started the piece, but realize there’s lots of work to be done, lots of experimenting if it is to say what I want it to say. Maybe, next Easter, I’ll be able to post the completed work.

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