Every day, I encounter a new challenge to the idea that things can and should be open and real.

Be it social, political, or personal, serious or trivial -- every time, I ponder the implications.

I hope you'll join me in the conversation!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Like a Knife in My Heart....

I owe someone an apology. In preparation for our 20th college reunion, my friend Jay said, "It's like a knife in my heart that we're not young anymore" -- and I immediately told him all the reasons he shouldn't feel that way.

Well, I take it all back.

I love this picture representing the feeling, because it's not gory and it's not sad, and in many ways I think it represents strength. The heart still glows around the blade, and the two seem to be in the process of becoming one.

I knew my return to campus would trigger many conflicting emotions, and I thought I was prepared, but truthfully I did not anticipate the cascade of feeling that I think Jay had in advance.....and perhaps we all had before the weekend was over. The realization that essentially the same amount of time had passed since graduation that had passed from our births to when we all first met was monumental for me. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces, and so many beloved to me. Our lives were different then, and have perhaps become even more different now, but we will always have our Davidson experience during a formative time in our development and that keeps us connected.

What I did not expect was the powerful feeling that this was a turning point.

Going forward, I think I need to not take for granted that Davidson will always bind us, at least to the degree for which I hope and which I need. I am recommitting to these relationships.

The knife may not come out, but the heart will always be strong.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Life's Rich Pageant

Last night I had the privilege of attending the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra's performance of Beethoven's 9th, Ode to Joy.

Prior to the performance beginning, conductor Grant Cooper requested a moment of silence for the fallen Montcoal miners. It was one of the longer "moments" I've been a part of, and it was absolutely silent despite the dozens of people present.

The live performance of classical music is something timeless, unique, and awe inspiring; and the introduction of this particular symphony with a moment of shared grief was not ironic but somehow complete and fully human.

We've all read stories of people attending live music performances during intense and strange circumstances: bombings in London, occupations in France, under the eyes of Nazis, even the witnesses who speak of musicians performing as the Titanic went down to the depths of night and the loss of hundreds of lives.

We humans are a strange lot, and that's putting it mildly. But whenever I feel despair over how very dark and driven by evil our kind can be, I put my mind to this -- We spend years fashioning instruments to make exquisite sounds. We train our voices to express the richness and over the top joy and pain of human emotion. We come together to put our voices and instruments to the task of not only telling our story, but sharing it. And we come together to experience what cannot be said in words, but only played, and sung, and felt.

I don't go to the symphony to hear music. I go to be a part of something insanely gorgeous and strange. I'm thinking about season tickets.