Friday, April 10, 2009
From the very beginning I have wondered -- what is the real music of his life?
Born homeless, - in a minor key,- with dangers lurking on the streets that night
And me unable to provide that small security each baby needs.
As I rejoiced at new life given, I shivered, knew I'd failed already,
That my arms could not be enough to hold him safe, confined.
How could I welcome the angels' song, all glory & hosannas?
I craved the gentler music of a homely lullaby.
We longed to do things right, to be in tune with the traditions of our faith.
"I was glad when they said unto me, we shall go to the house of the Lord"
And so we went to join the crowds and add our simple theme of gratitude to the . Temple's age-old counterpoint. We hoped this way to silence creeping gossip, that makes scandal of a miracle. But even here the harmony was disrupted, as Simeon, that gentle, holy man, offered us words to soothe and terrify, music to bless and curse. Was he the good angel or the dark demon at our feast? I could not tell, but felt my own song falter, silenced by forebodings I did not understand. A light and a spear...how to make music here?
More dissonance: the fanfares, pomp & circumstance of travellers bearing kingly gifts, transformed in hours to the searing threnodies of mothers mourning, their life's music broken beyond repair. From then on, always, when I held my boy, I felt the weight of all those others who would never grow, nor sing their own songs in the joy of life.
I did not sing much in those years, listened instead to try and catch the theme of Jesus's own heart-song - but always it eluded me. I never really knew this child I loved, yet could not fully mother. Always, there seemed reserve, - and yet that's nonsense...for he gave and gave...perhaps he was all gift, if only I could grasp it. His complex simplicity was music pitched too high for me to hear, - but it drew others, whose rough instruments blended and supported in a way my softer lullabies could never seem to.
Even a few days ago, their sound rang out over the city - loud, bold and brassy, like a victory parade. For a while it seemed His song had changed its tune, modulated into triumph in a major key - but soon song was replaced by shouting.
"Out - my Father's house no place for this!"
Then we returned to shifting tones, the minor thirds of gathering shadows and insistent dread, a muted drum-beat heralding the men of night who came to lead my shining son into the gloom.
Instruments flung aside, the players fled.
Deeper silence than before the world began.
There is no music now.