Sunday, June 3, 2012

Puccini,the Shakers and me

I had a dream once,several years ago.One of those vivid ones that you know will stay with you always.I was in a circle of others ,we were dancing, a gentle folk dance with Christ leading the movement.His robe white, hair brown and face smiling.I felt content there and joyous.This was where I was meant to be,at last.Then,he walked away.I followed questioning why he was leaving.He smiled and said,"Now,you lead the dance."Resigned,I went back and the dancing resumed.I will spend the rest of my life pondering, never fully understanding this dream.

This came to me as we heard a sermon while in Florida a few weeks ago.The priest was talking about the composer Puccini.I am not an opera buff but I do know enough to know that Puccini wrote Madam Butterfly and the well known aria from it,"Un Bel Di."This stunning music ends with the heart broken Butterfly hitting a note so soaring,it must be above the scale.I never knew that a voice could climb so high to reach this impossible note.I get chills.Every time.So to me ,Puccini is a genius.

When he was dying in 1924, he frantically strove to finish his last work,Turandot.Alas,he died with it incomplete.His students decided to honor him and they spent months studying his operas,his writings and finally completed his opera.When his student,Toscanini, directed the first performance of Turandot,he stopped the music where Puccini had stopped and told the audience that this was the end of Puccini's work and that the rest was done by his followers.The end was as glorious as the first part, according to reviewers.

The priest told us that we, in the Cathedral, were disciples too, not of a composer ,but of Christ and that we should study his words and works, pray and reflect to understand His mission and with our lives,complete it. We should sing his Song.Yes, and dance his Dance.

I grew up in a church where we knew the healing Christ,the suffering Christ but the dancing Christ?A Shaker song tells of this Christ and after my dream, I can see him clearly.

And the Song?Here are some of its words: compassion.... forgiveness.... holiness.... mystery.....


Garnette Arledge said...

So beautiful. Meaningful to me as I had such a dream once - dancing in the circle. Now, once i get the novel published, I will complete the play - lightly about the butterfly.

Love reading your ever more inspiring blogs.

Ed Hawkins said...

The heart is a much better composer that the head. Thank you. Sharon