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On May 10, 1788, three years before his death, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completed his Symphony No. 41 in C major K. 551. Coined The Jupiter by the impresario Johann Peter Salmon, it was Mozart’s gift from the heart, despite being steeped in debt and ill. He had received no commission to compose it, his psyche ordering its composition. Its four movements resonate with the passions of his short life: eroticism, strife, grief, over-spending, intimacy, and joy. Yet, there was and is no stopping of his musical voice.

It has been wisely said that a classical composer of great music does not die, but simply becomes music. This, I experienced last night. Mozart’s compelling presence during The Jupiter helped quiet my low mood and led to deeper acceptance of my circumstances—again, the nudge from Precious God.

It was 1881. A singing lark so fired the imagination of the British poet George Meredith that he composed The Lark Ascending, a paean of joy to his messenger from God, flitting and soaring above a summer meadow. When recited, listeners still pick up his song, a piece of which is quoted here:

He rises and begins to round,
He drops the silver chain of sound,
Of many links without a break,
In chirrup, whistle, slur and shake…

For singing till his heaven fills,
’Tis love of earth that he instills,
And ever winging up and up,
Our valley is his golden cup,
And he the wine which overflows
To lift us with him as he goes…

That same year, the British Ralph Vaughn Williams, composer of classical music and a literary adept, happened upon Meredith’s poem, The Lark Ascending and using the same title, scored notes around his experience, featuring a solo violin and orchestra.

Both compositions still inspire: it’s as if the lark had jettisoned the words/notes that kept it in print, transporting listeners to idyllic fields in which Nature’s freshness invigorate languid spirits. In the face of such beauty, imaginations expand, eyes brighten, another song spirits our steps into the next moment. Again, we feel. Fortunate for us that Meredith and Williams were attuned to the lark’s gift, despite the evils of the Industrial Revolution, colonization, and World War I that besmirched many at that time.

Internally, our times are not that different. We have only to listen with open hearts to Beauty. Psychic transformation occurs, followed by gratitude for Life and new learning, and another day passes.

While I was dozing atop my bed, my blinds slating the afternoon sun, soft tendrils of a violin solo nudged my spirit into shimmering realms. Eyes closed, motionless, l listened lest I interrupt the visit, for that’s what it was—I was in the presence of Beauty. Forever passed in a flash as Korngold’s Violin Concerto in D Minor (1947) concluded with its virtuoso climax. Slowly, I opened my eyes, turned off the radio, and stirred my toes.

What had been an ordinary day morphed me within ecstasy, my senses enlarged, my breathing expanded. No matter my chronic conditions, I felt whole.  

Such experience speaks to the critical importance of feeding beauty to our psyches, wherever gleaned—the arts or sacred texts or the outdoors. Such nurturance opens us to the transpersonal in our lives and we thrive until the next dry spell with its antidote.  

Our God is generous …

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