Last night, one of my haunting music dreams chased me through the night - reminding me of what I've lost, what I've given up, driving me to tears, to prayer, to wonder.
As a girl, I discovered my great love for choral music and I only grew in that love and in that great talent as I got older. Now that much of my muscle memory and skills are lost, I think it is not vain to say that had God given me an amazing gift. It was a gift that sustained me, focused me, increased my humanity, and constantly, consistently through it's beauty lifted my soul to God. As beauty does.
All this to say...I miss it.
I sat at my computer in front of Spotify for about an hour with Joe today just listening...
...Rachmaninov's Vespers (particularly the 5th movement, which was on my mind, Nyne otpushchaeshi)
...Vivaldi's Gloria (Joe LOVED the first movement, I think we listened to it three times in a row)
At this point, it's been many more years lapsed than I even spent in the world of music. I continue to love it, and it brings me such genuine joy to watch as my sisters and my daughters fall into this never ending chasm of love.
However, sitting here listening to Ave verum corpus feels insufficient to me. Appreciating it doesn't quite feel like enough.
But...vocations, and babies, and "seasons of life" and all that... Everyone says "someday you can go back." I have a sense that someday probably won't really happen. How can it? I say this not with a sense of hopelessness, I promise. This was not just a passing hobby, or something that I enjoyed once upon a time - it's something that infused itself upon my soul. And why? What was the purpose? To what end did I put forth such great effort into an absolute love...only to walk away?
I don't know the answers to these things, but I do know that my soul continues to ache. Days like today, after the dreams - I am consumed. Sometimes there are tears. Often there are prayers, asking God to take away the pang, and if somehow, someway He has given me this gift for something else in life that he would show it to me, because right now, there remains a fermata shaped hole in my heart.
The acoustics were beyond words. It was as if the music just floated out of us and rose to God. -From my journal April 19, 2000 after singing in St. Paul's Cathedral in LondonThis very well may be something to live with always, something very, very large that I am invited to offer to our Lord in prayerful sacrifice. It may be that Tennyson was quite correct when he exhorted, "Tis better to have loved and lost, Than never to have loved at all."
My great comfort is that not even music - not even my children and husband (my greatest loves), my friends, my family, my home, my interests - none of these things will ever bring me true happiness. My comfort is that I know right where to turn:
"It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you." Pope St. John Paul II