Yesterday started off with a meditation on the loss of a colleague and the fear of losing others. It ended with a great concert, selections from Mozart's Requiem Mass in D Minor, and other great pieces.
I spent part of the afternoon working on taxes. I rarely wait this long, but I've rarely had a tax year this complicated: selling a house, buying a house, selling stocks, and the vagaries/complications of the fact that both my spouse and I have self-employed income, along with the income from my regular job. But the real reason I waited was that I needed one last document, and by the time it came, I was travelling to visit my sick friend/former housemate and then my sister and nephew came.
I finished the taxes and thought about the tax package as art form. I fully meant to do something creative or to go to the contemplative service at my church, but instead, I fell into a deep, satisfying sleep. I haven't taken a nap in eons.
I was glad that I did because I enjoyed the concert more thoroughly than I would have otherwise. Some times I go to events at night only to find myself fighting fatigue.
My spouse who sings in the Chorale had to arrive early, so I had some time on the Broward College campus before the concert started. I walked to the library, but it was closed. I thought it would be, so I brought a book with me. I'm still making my way through A God in the House: Poets Talk about Faith--what a wonderful book. I read two essays, and then it was time to walk back to the concert hall.
But first, I walked towards a better view of the sunset--and I found myself on the satellite campus of Florida Atlantic University--not a surprise, since the campuses are so integrated. I used to teach upper level classes to undergraduate English majors at that campus, back in the early years of this century, back when there were 2 buildings on the site.
I walked back to the concert hall and thought about the first time I was on the Central Campus of Broward College, back when it was still Broward Community College, when I was there for new faculty orientation. I had lucked into a position as a one year, full-time faculty member at the South campus.
I walked and thought about the strange turns life takes. I thought about the husband of my colleague who must have been enduring one of the worst days of his life. I thought about the life partner of my high school friend/former housemate who must be wrestling with the fear of having to endure such a day. I thought about how lucky I am to have a lovely evening and a good book.
Perhaps it was that musing that put me in the frame of mind to be patient with the 8 guys who crowded into the row of seats behind me. Some of them whipped out devices to start playing games, while some of them watched. I heard things like, "Not the sword! You should use the bat to get rid of that one." Two of them had bouquets of flowers. I wondered which performers would receive them.
Luckily, everyone quieted down as the concert started. I found the Requiem pieces quite moving, so suitable for my Ash Wednesday, ashes and dust, mood that I've been in. I was glad that the concert ended with more upbeat pieces, including the piece which has made it into Lutheran hymnbooks as "We Are Walking in the Light of God." I was grateful for the reminder that resurrection will come, even if I don't see the results or understand the process.
As always, I'm stunned by what the director of the Chorale can do. He's got a day choir and an evening choir. They've been practicing a few hours a week since January. The director transformed them into a stunning group. It's a good reminder of what can be accomplished, even if we only have a few hours a week, even if we have ordinary resources. It's the practice that makes the transformation--another good reminder.
Today I have friends coming over for a back yard cook out. We will mourn the transformations of the past week, but we will also celebrate the ability to be together. We are not dead. We can celebrate a good burger while thinking about where to go from here.
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