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Loose soils engorge spidery bulbs beneath wintry graves.

Hesitant greens wiggle and meander among mulched beds.

March rains drench tentative shoots like children forgetting their lines.

 

Weeks pass.

 

Spiked blades pattern gardens like players on chessboards.

Hard nubs stretch like infants flailing rubbery limbs.

Flickers of pink balloon and soften the petals.

Within such freshness glistens Creator God, the Master Colorist.

 

The same Colorist also brings forth spring shows within us, if we wish.

 

We give thanks!

 

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“If you love the truth, be a lover of silence. Silence like the sun will illuminate you in God.”—a trenchant saying attributed to Isaac the Syrian, the seventh-century Bishop, theologian, and monk who the Eastern Orthodox Church regards as a saint.

Simple words, if pondered, reveal the unseen caught in the flux of time. Key to this process is passion, whose firelight, like the sun, ignites inner worlds. But who cares to go there? To discipline unruly instincts clamoring for expression? That would be like dying. Such flies in the face of our cultural mores, engulfed in denial and rationalization. The predictable is more comfortable, yet soulless.

It does not take much to see who is truly alive among us: their quickening gaze, their resonant voices, their authority, of whatever age and background.

That’s what happens when you sit in the fire.

 

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It was over: David Robertson, the conductor, bowed his head and cradled the baton in his other hand; the musicians and their instruments sat motionless; the chorus and children’s choir closed their music books; the pre-recorded street sounds from Manhattan faded into silence. For twenty-nine minutes we had breathed John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls (2002) the “memory space” that he created to honor the victims of 9/11 and all who have had significant losses.

An uneasy silence stunned Powell Symphony Hall. Someone coughed. Others stirred in their seats. Still others swiped their eyes and wadded Kleenex in their hands or studied their laps. Finally someone began to clap; it did not stop until everyone stood. Cheers solidified our humanness, tweaked by significant losses, past and present.

Indeed, such classical music knows no boundaries. It seeps into the marrow of our souls leaving a residue of hope: hope that enlivens our spiritual faculties and quickens our steps. The apparent ending of On the Transmigration of Souls was just the beginning. Indeed, life is good as proclaimed by the Creator in the book of Genesis.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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