Last night I sang with my men's choir in an old, massive, gorgeous former cathedral for the evening liturgy. There are about eighteen of us when we're in full force, and if I do say so myself we're pretty good. We're a really mixed group of guys, all ages, all sorts of occupations of course, and varied backgrounds, and from all over the area. My brother and his seventeen year old son also joined us last night...after a smidgen of coaxing from me. Ive been in choirs or accompanied them on the organ since I was ten years old...for many reasons.
Muriel Barbery wrote about how everyday life vanished when the choir begins to sing. She writes "you are suddenly overcome with a feeling of brotherhood, of deep solidarity, even love, and it all diffuses the ugliness of everyday life into a spirit of perfect communion." The stress goes away, all the heartaches, hopes and fears and challenges that we're all dealing with seem to quietly slip out beneath the ancient stained glasswindows. We all surrender to the music.
Sometimes in the middle of something like Mozart's Ave Verum I get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes...and it's hard to sing. I forget all about Rick Santorum, the weeds in my garden, and the challenges of being a therapist.
I'm just a part of the whole magnificent sound that these guys create together.
Ms Barbery says it this way "...it's so beautiful, in the end I wonder if the true movement of the world might not be a voice raised in song." I know for myself that those moments of creating this music with these guys always transforms my world...even if it's only for one hour at a time, it's one of the most precious gifts in my life.