music and meaning

by Andrea Elizabeth

I have 50 minutes. That is all. Not 50 minutes to write a post, but 50 minutes to do everything. Leaving is death. Death to my world. I must leave this world for another, the unknown one. The one that begins at the end of my driveway. Where other people have their way. It’s always either/or, your way or my way. Luckily the world to which I am going is one of Christmas Carols played by my children. We will bring accoutrements from our world to the next. And it’s an incarnated world. We will be playing at the Church. The person to whom I am surrendering my will has a similar goal, beautiful music. He is a Russian violist who goes to my Church. He has been instructing my violist, violinist and cellist on the hows. My background is in piano so mostly I just tell them when they sound like the music I know. He tells them things like, you must make round music with this straight bow. The marriage of the male and female as it were. I wonder if that went over their heads.

Still, when one surrenders to another master, even one who has similar goals, one must leave one’s comfort zone and make changes. Thankfully these are changes I want to make, which is often not the case. It’s not that I don’t want clean teeth or groceries. I do want those changes, but cooking and brushing are not as fun as practicing music. Cooking’s funner than brushing. Lately I’ve slowed down a bit and not been as frantic about it. The other day I ate two of Rachel’s double chocolate chip cookies at 5 pm, much too close to dinner, but found that I was in a much better mood while I chopped the vegetables. I positively lingered over them because I didn’t have that low blood sugar sinking feeling. And sometimes when brushing my teeth I try to be present and linger over them too, meditating on the Jesus prayer for every tooth. May the Lord cleanse my mouth. You get the symbolism.

I just love how they say Music and Meaning in Howard’s End.