Saturday, January 12, 2013

And here it is:

At dinner, I said to the historian, "I'm starting to feel a little panicky about how busy I'm going to be. And how much stuff I have to do."

Well, that feeling's been at bay for a few weeks, and it's just the weekend before the semester starts. Well done, anxiety! Thanks for hanging out somewhere else for awhile.

But it's been a great day even so. I worked this morning quietly for awhile--adapted and spruced up a syllabus, worked out a rough schedule. At one, we went to Jordan High School to hear the Utah Wind Symphony Youth Ensemble play. My niece plays the trumpet in this excellent band.

They played a suite by Holst to begin, and then a gorgeous setting of O Magnum Mysterium by Morton Lauridsen. The gorgeous choir my son sang in at the University did this piece.

When the ensemble first began to play, I recognized, then placed the piece. Without words and without human voice, but with the breath modulated by the reeds and brass, I thought of the many times I had heard my son's choir sing, then of the countless times I've listened to all my children sing. I thought of the choirs I've sung in. I watched the players, all of them in high school, and so I thought also of the small miracle of musicians coming into their own. I thought of the way an instrumental ensemble can swell and fill a room with sound, I felt the sound swell, recognized how it feels in the body to be in that room when the sound surrounds you and blooms. I closed my eyes in the midst of the sound. I thought again of what it would feel like to go to church again and sing. The music thickened, surged around us. The phrases rose and fell and ended.

Something to hold on to in the weeks ahead.


  1. Yes. It is one of my favorite songs of all, especially in the midwinter. I really like Lauridsen's "Dirait On" as well. We sang his Lux Aeterna in choir many years ago and his work has never really left me since.

  2. Yes. Beautiful. There is something otherworldly about being in the middle of those musical, resonant moments. Can we start a church where there are no sermons, no dogma, only music?

  3. You know my opinions on the choir thing, :)

  4. Gorgeous gorgeous. Thank you for this. It sounds like breathing or a tide breaking and filled me up listening to it even on the teeny tiny speaker of my whispery laptop. Thank you.



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