14 March 2009

Exhilarating

Warning: Adult Content Ahead, But Not Quite What You Think

I actually sat for several minutes with fingers poised on keys, debating whether I should write this post. I worried that some might get the wrong impression from what I wanted to write about. I don't want this to come across as . . . well, let's just say less than humble. Because that's not my purpose at all. It really, truly isn't.

But you remember how it felt when you were a little kid and got some wow yowza crash bang super cool Christmas present? You were just bubbling over inside and couldn't wait to tell your friends, right? For no other reason than just the sheer joy of sharing something so fantastic, because it's human nature that happiness shared is happiness multiplied.

Well, that's this situation. I want to tell my friends about a wow yowza crash bang super cool thing I got to do last night. I am bubbling over inside and really want to share it. I have always had a touch of Imposter's Syndrome and honestly don't consider myself very well qualified for this thing but somehow I got to do it anyway. OK, disclaimers out of the way, time to be excited.

I said up above that readers should expect some adult content. Here it is. If you could imagine some way of expressing all of the highest, brightest, darkest, saddest, angst-wracked, fear-filled, peaceful, faith-filled, hopeful, tender, most longing, passionate, joyful and exultant feelings of your heart in a way that made thousands of other people feel the same, touched them just as deeply, and which words could never adequately express, how would you do it? And wouldn't you jump at the chance to participate in something like that?

That's why I said this is adult content. This question is beyond children and probably most teenagers. What I've described is a very tall order for anyone. But Johannes Brahms pulled it off in his German Requiem which I somehow got lucky enough to sing last night with the symphony here.

It runs the gamut of all those emotions. It is loud and soft and sweet and tortured and peaceful and agitated and dark and light. The hour and a quarter it takes to sing was one of the biggest emotional roller coasters I've been on in a long time. Physically and emotionally exhausting. But at the end, what a rush. On that stage, with that orchestra, the house applauding, few feelings can match that. Absolutely exhilarating. And added to it was the happiness of having two of my most treasured high school friends (also classical musicians) drive for two hours to see the performance, and when I saw them afterward they threw their arms around me in embraces that nearly snuffed out what breath I had left, embraces that said "We get it, we understand, how glorious to be able to share something like this together."

I wish all of my blogger friends could have been there too, you would have been touched and equally shaken, not just stirred, I have no doubt. To have all of you that I care so much about share something like this with me--probably would have been completely overwhelming. Someday perhaps. There are parts of this piece that talk about those who trust in God someday "returning to Zion" with "everlasting joy upon their heads." And I actually thought of all of you, blogger buds, as I sang that part, thinking ahead to some future day when we know more than we know now and, God willing, can be and love as God made us free of the challenges we now sometimes face in this fallen world. I was smiling so broadly as I sang that part that it was almost difficult to pronounce the words. But you all truly were an inspiration.

So when any experience fills your heart with such feelings of love and happiness, you know it has to be a good thing. And that's what I wanted to share. What's even better is that I get to do it again tonight, and tomorrow. Three times. I may have to be carried off stage by the time this is over!

All right, enough prologue. I hope I haven't built up too much expectation! If you want to sample this glorious music for yourself, click on the vid below. ADVICE: use headphones, not crappy built-in computer "speakers", and listen to the whole thing. Just a few cursory moments will not do it justice. This is the part I mentioned above that made me smile so broadly as I thought of all my friends. The lyrics here are from the Bible: "All flesh is as the grass, and the glory of man as the flower; the grass withers, and the flowers fall. But the Lord's word endures forever. The redeemed of the Lord shall return again and come rejoicing to Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon them." Which is what I hope for all of us.

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