Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Sound of Music

Ambition and prosperity have been both deemed desired characteristics as well as traits to be checked for a very long time in our human story. Those characteristics can be applied in a variety of ways but they all seem inherent and stronger in more of us than others. Throughout most of my life this has been evident in my aim to accumulate wealth and security. Spending time with my family here in Peru, I see it in others as well as myself more poignantly.

For me ever since childhood what has cleansed me of this is my creative pursuits. Music has taken front and center stage in this list for me. Music is a language like no other. We can enjoy music in languages we don´t understand, instrumentally, or a cappella, in opera, and at church. The bible tells us it is a form of praise and prayer. Music can touch and transport our emotions and soul. It can ignite us, make us reflect on memories or love, take us back in time,sadden, anger, and even create reverent awe. As Christmas approaches who can deny the joy and magic of Christmas songs as we bring in this holy season. Our world would be much darker without this glorious language.

This language for me allowed me to express the rawest of emotions in a way that led to pure joy. My faith in this joy met with parental resistance in my youth. I postponed and then abandoned the pursuit as the demands of life catapulted me forward after my mom's passing when I was 16. As the pause happened earlier this year, I opened the door again and found that same joy in a magical experience I had a couple of months ago.

As my ambition and drive led me to the beginning of my spiritual exercises in September, doors opened that I had scarcely pursued. I met with a coach a friend insisted I meet even though this was not the path I wanted to be on. After that meeting she put me in touch with a busy fellow musician, Jeff, who had been working on music for quite sometime. At his initiative, I met with him once and after we spoke he recommended I volunteer for a non-profit he and others had founded. They put on an annual fundraiser that contracted some famous older talents. This particular year it was English Beat. I accepted the invitation to volunteer and was quickly put in touch with the volunteer organizer for the event. I was put on the merchandise table and as I browsed the other positions I noticed a position where someone would be in charge of the band. I noticed another name there and surmised it had been a longer time volunteer or associate in this position.

As concert time approached in mid-October, I became excited with the prospect of just hearing the band. After mass that Sunday and the reflection on the theme of my spiritual exercise, I found myself running late and I had to scurry to make the event on time. I approached the coordinator and introduced myself and asked how I could help. He instantly decided and pointed at me and said I want you with the band and asked if I would like that? A rhetorical question of course!:-) I accepted and was quickly in awe of the events as they had transpired. My fellow volunteers and Jeff the musician who arranged for me to be on the volunteer list to begin with were equally amazed.

As I catered to the band and talked with the musicians, the lead singer and the group coordinator, I gleaned an inside perspective into the organic, unpredictable and faith based journey they were on. The party they were on would one day close and with this knowledge, those that had not accumulated wealth in the process were constantly looking at other avenues to make a living with their gift. It also gave me an side look into the how doors open and how misplaced jealousy impacts relationships. This gift of bonding with them also brought me a peaceful joy I hadn´t experienced since childhood.

As my time with family here in Peru concludes and I get ready for my back packing trek across the Inca trail, I hope I can once again allow God to guide and lead me in the joyous exploration of one of the most beautiful languages we have. May the sound of music this advent season fill your heart with the awe and wonder of Christ´s joy, peace and love.


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