I listened to ethereal music from voice and strings in a cathedral in Bangor last night. All the music was in Latin, which was a good thing. Less good, for me, was that the program included translations of the Latin into English.
By themselves, these sounds produced by violin, viola, cello and bass, by the delicate voicings of the organ, by human voices blended in harmony – elevate my soul, move me to tears. I cannot feel as moved by the words rooted in ancient traditions that no longer feel relevant, given the world we now understand so much more fully. Words exalting the poor and humble keeps the masses content in their deprivation. Patriarchal idolatry elevates men over women, and empowers despots. Why fear the Lord and grovel over our sinfulness?
I want sacred music to sing of trees, sunrise, newborn babies, the cosmos, scientific breakthroughs, sharing, disease-fighting microorganisms, the resilience of desert fauna, the devotion of elephants, the smell of hot cinnamon rolls, and the moon lighting your way home. Then maybe the words could begin to do justice to the music.
My 60th year in 60,000 words
Day 103: 183 words, TOTAL = 17,188; 42,812 remaining
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.