I’ve realised in the last little while that my intellectual life is rich and varied – and my spiritual life is barren, a void. Howling winds was the image that came to mind when I was asked to describe my spiritual life as a landscape: cold and searing and bleak; un-nourishing.
So this is something I’ve been focusing on: learning to feed my spirituality, become one with it, allow it to feed me. Learn to live the fact that I dwell within the love of the divine Creator. Learn to flourish in that, to allow that knowledge to permeate my very being; Learn to face the Source of love, vulnerable and hurting, without cringing away from the compassion It cannot help but offer.
It’s funny, because singing is such a huge part of my life, that I’ve never really acknowledged singing as an activity of spirituality. I’ve never really owned to myself just how great a portion of my spirituality comes from my singing – and therefore just how great a grief it is that singing is so hard, so debilitatingly painful, right now. But I think that, until I do own up to that, I’ll never work through that grief. I’ll never work through that difficulty, that pain, my body and mind’s uncontrollable response to the trauma I’ve experienced – a response which is now triggered, horribly, by the very beauty of the music I sing every week.
I don’t know what to do about it, but I think that all I can do is remind myself that I dwell within the love of God in everything I do. I am held by a compassion so great, and so kind, that I cannot possibly understand it, cannot possibly withstand it, but must open myself to it in tremulous trust that I will not be swept away and destroyed by it.
And my singing is part of that. As I open myself to the Creator, to the Source of my being Which is closer to me than my own breath, I hope that the peace of the Origin of peace will flow through me into the music I sing. I hope that the great and gentle Mystery in which I dwell will become manifest in music, in the movement of air through lungs and larynx to become pure and beautiful sound, merging with the voices of others in harmonies I can’t begin to describe.
One day, I want to be able to sing the mystery of the Mass. One day, I want to be able to sing the reality I’m only just beginning to discover, to explore, to trust. One day, I want to live it.
For now, though, I’ll settle for not being a musical cripple. That’ll do nicely, to start with.