Exerpts from my handwritten journal
Jesus Christ is risen today, alleluia! And the pascal mystery is revealed again, and revolves again. It is today that the grandness of the Cathedral makes so much sense. Jesus Christ is risen – is there glory greater to proclaim? Is any skill too grand, any inspiration too big, and height too great?
The muted muffle of thousands of people beyond the trees mixes with the cooing of the mourning doves, the twittering of the song birds. And yet it is the silence of the stone, the sweeping stillness of clouds creeping by that is the dark before the dawn, when the bells will toll out, sing out, ring out our joy. I expect a full peal, and I don’t think I shall be disappointed. I half expect to hear them now, the carillon, any moment now, but even if I don’t, even if I never hear them at all, or never again, I have memory enough of their joyful call and in moments like these it resonates in my heart, waiting to burst forth, singing Alleluia.
…And I smell hotdogs… Don’t know where that came from.
The carillon! It has begun!
And even amidst the ecstacy, the end of Lent, Holy Week gone, and this First Day of the rest of all days, to know my own place, to know how much I have even as a “poor student” that puts me fiscally ahead of billions of other people on this planet. The luxury of a significant amount of education, the ability to read at all, a feast to attend shortly full of good, nutrious food prepared under sanitary conditions in the house of a friend, change in the jar, coffee in the fridge, chocolate that miraculously appeared on the kitchen table this morning, a roof over my head and warm blankets, fashionable clothes, art on the walls, this laptop, bookcases upon bookcases of books, shelves of cd’s. So much, I have so much. Accident of birth? Systematic oppression? The ability of the affluent to ignore everyone else? Yes, yes, and yes.
And then there is the Resurrection. A making whole of things broken, a lifting up of things trampled down? A systematic love? An inability to ignore the anyone, high or low, left or right, anyone at all? Yes, yes, and yes.
…Music affects me deeply. It is interesting to me just how deeply music affects me – the rhythm, the lyrics, the song itself, the emotion with which it is played and sung. It doesn’t create emotion within me, but if there is the least little crumb of something, the teeniest tiniest seed of some emotion buried deep and back and behind everything else, lying dormant and forgotten, music can tease it out, grow it into fruition. The right music can evoke the depths of emotion in me, both ecstatic joy and suicidal angst. And of all the music I’ve ever heard – and I’ve heard quite a range of music, and appreciate quite a range of music – the music that confounds me, brings me to tears, makes my heart feel like it is going to burst because it is so incredibly full, inspires me to sing my finest, be my finest… and the lyrics are the expression of my soul… Easter music.
The strife is o’er the battle done, the victory of life is won; the song of triumph has begun, Alleluia!