June 2002 (Vol. XV, No. 6)

EVERY BLESSING, dear friends! As we enter into the summer season of fullness, may the music of our hearts become One in a symphony of souls united in the Silence. May we pause each day in the silence to listen to the deepest Song in our hearts ... then sing it in our actions and interactions in work and leisure.

In a sense great music exists for the sake of its pauses

In a sense great music exists for the sake of its pauses; for instance, the pauses that occur in the middle of a Beethoven symphony. These pauses are of course quite unlike bits of ordinary silence, because the whole symphony has led up to them — they are held and defined, and the music goes on the other side of them. Such pauses are silence charged with meaning. Music transcends music by producing charged silence.

~ from THE WISHING TREE by Christopher Isherwood
The Wishing Tree
By Christopher Isherwood

Creation began with a big band

While I was writing about silence and explosíons and the moment, of creation, I made an ínteresting typing error. I wrote "big band"" instead of "big bang." I'd like to think that ít was not an error but the voice of creation typing for me. From now on that's my theory on the origin of everything. Creation began with a big band, and ever since there has been rhythm, style and beauty throughout the uníverse. Our job is to look and listen for the big song, and then to join in, following the beat established by the Conductor leading the big band.

~ from PRESCRIPTIONS FOR LIVING by Bernie S. Siegel

Something about a song is nearly irresistible

Something about a song ia nearly irresistible in that it reaches both the mnd and the heart, the former with meaning, the latter with beauty. The Spírit found her way into my shut-off heart through the songs I learned through that very same heart.

~ from "Spirit's Songs" by Kay Collette

My heart makes songs

It is my heart that makes songs, not I.

~ by Sara Teasdale
Love Songs
By Sara Teasdale

Sing and your life will continue

Song is not a luxury, but a necessary way of being in the world. If you are cut off, in pain, estranged, numb — sing, give voice to anything. It needn't sound pretty. Simply, bravely, open despite the difficulty, and let what is in out, and what is out in. Sing and your life will continue.

~ from THE BOOK OF AWAKENING by Mark Nepo

The voice of God whispers in the heart

The voice of God whispers in the heart
So softly
That the soul pauses,
Making no noise,
And strives for these melodies,
Distant, sighing, like the faintest breath,
And all the being is still to hear.

~ by Stephen Crane thanks to Peter Venable

And then your heart breaks open?

The silence of the marsh was so profound that it could have been the flip side of the singing in my church. Just last Sunday the people had sung the old spiritual, "Go Down, Moses," a cappella because the pianist was gone, and a bunch of people were crying, singing very loudly with their eyes closed, and the singing of that cry of a song was a wonderful form of communion. How come you can hear a chord, and then another chord, and then your heart breaks open?

~ from TRAVELING MERCIES by Anne Lamott

What is the song of my life?

Each of us is a new creation, a singularity, a facet of the glory of God, Love's presence made visible. "The greatest glory of God is a person fully alive." Everything in creation has íts own language, its own radiance, its gift to the universe. Dante's music of the spheres, the movement of the planets and stars in their orbíts, is an unrivaled symphony. And I am not a single note, sound, or chord -- I am a symphony of a lífetime. What is the song of my life, the inner music of my being, the background music whích softly accompanies me? Each thing has its own song and each sings it ín silence. What a chorus when each life song is blended into and harmonized with all the others!

~ from NO ONE ELSE CAN SING MY SONG by Edward J. Farrell
No One Else Can Sing My Song
By Edward J. Farrell

The poet, the artist, the musician

The poet, the artist, the musician, continue the quiet work of centuries, building bridges of experience between people, reminding us of the universality of our feelings and desires and despairs, and reminding us that the forces that unite are deeper than those that divide.

~ by John F. Kennedy

Her Beloved is silent music

In that nocturnal tranquility and silence and in knowledge of the divine light, the soul becomes aware of Wisdom's wonderful harmony and sequence in the variety of her creatures and works. Each of them is endowed wíth a certain likeness of God and in its own way gives voice to what of God is in it. So creatures will be for the soul a harmonious symphony of sublime music surpassing all concerts and melodies of the world. Thus there ís in it the sweetness of music and the quietude of silence. AccordÍngly, she says that her Beloved is silent music because in the Beloved she knows and enjoys this symphony of spiritual music.

~ from SPIRITUAL CANTICLE by John of the Cross thanks to Gav Grissom
Spiritual Canticle
By St. John of the Cross

If I separated the religious goal from the musical one

I can't think of any way to explain the existence of art other than as a means to express something greater than ourselves. I can't reach a single musícal decision except wíth the goal of making a connectíon to God. If I separated the religious goal from the musical one, music would have no meaning for me.

~ by Sofia Gubaidulian

The face of this singing nun would forever be unknown to us

They sang a capella: one voice began to mount like a skylark and detach itself from the rest, from those mingled voices which together sounded well, but from whose conjunction with this single one soared in an intensity of beauty — a voice so clear and just, yet vibrant with such warm sweetness, I have remembered it always. The fact that this great, this glorious and rare voice was singing behind bars, that the face and identity of this singing nun would forever be unknown to us, shadowed the music. Mainly, we were awed to think this treasure was so hidden.

~from TESSERAE by Denise Levertov

Naught are yet but songs, and as ye sing, ye are

With a song came the Word and by music it is sustained, And the soul ... is a note of revelation. Naught are ye but songs, and as ye sing, ye are ...
~ from CRESCENT AND HEART BY Samuel L. Lewis
Crescent and Heart
By Samuel L. Lewis

Sing the Song of your life

How can you keep from singing the Song of your life? Make it LOVE!
~ Anonymous

May your days be filled with merry music

May your days be filled with merry music;
May your life be filled with sacred songs!
May the Great Conductor lead you on ...
~ Anonymous

I started dancing to the tune of a heavenly drummer

What happened next is difficult to put into words... A Spirit of adoration and celebration sprang up within me, and I started dancing to the tune of a heavenly drummer and singing words unknown to my conscious mind. I sang with my mind too — hymns and psalms springing up from distant memory as well as spiritual songs that cascaded down in impromptu splendor. Thanksgivings poured forth for all things great and small. Praises joined the river in joyous exaltation. It felt like I was being invited to join, in my feeble way, into the ceaseless paean of praise that ascends before the throne of God.
~ from PRAYER by Richard J. Foster