There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we'll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.
Late that afternoon I listened to Thomas Tallis's SPEM IN ALIUM, a motet written in the 16th century for forty voice, forty separate parts... I was sitting in my chair looking at Ma's photograph as I listened. At once, as the music began, the photograph started to emit great waves of Light. The Light possessed my mind and body, and I heard the music not without me but within my heart.
Her voice: In my stillness all the voices of the world rise in ecstasy. In my silence all the voices of the world are reconciled.
Each voice in the sublime motet sang in perfectly lucid ecstatic harmony with every other voice, forming endlessly changing transforming masses of illumined ripe sound.
In the new creation souls will sing together like this.
I heard spiral after spiral of ascending glorious sound rise calmly, with a passion at once detached and supremely intense, from its bed of Silence, rise, commingle in bliss, and finally culminate in the vast prolonged cry of Light on Light at the end of the work, a cry that does not end but seems to reverberate throughout the cosmos forever.