“When the work takes over, then the artist is enabled to get out of the way, not to interfere…then the artist listens.” -Madeleine L'Engle, Walking on Water
worship makes me uncomfortable.
i had been looking forward to tonight's worship concert all week. "looking forward to" really means "experiencing simultaneous enthusiasm and dread." there's a stirring and then just staring.
dr. parsons spoke last sunday morning on the rich young ruler who came to Jesus. he emphasized that the young man had initiated the conversation with this esteemed teacher and yet walked away unable to give what He had asked of him. "are you listening to what God might be asking you to give up?" he asked. "are you willing to lay down your riches--your Idol?"
i don't know whether to put my hands in the air or clasp them together when i sing. more often than not, they're gripped white-knuckled in front of me. it's more comfortable. in fact, i like the title "worship concert" because concert gives me license to stay seated--also more comfortable.
was that a IV chord or a V chord?
after dr. parsons' sermon and the visible school had led worship, someone asked me if i ever led worship at the church. two weeks earlier at a wedding party, one of my german friends had asked why i had never helped with worship at our german church. i answered both questions with something like, "well, it's not really my thing." "i haven't really had much experience." "i've been classically trained." what i wanted to say was: because it's scary as hell.
i live with a piano now. it's not greatly in-tune, but i find myself at it often. especially mornings and rainy afternoons. i've been drawn the past few weeks to bach's partita in c minor, and the sinfonia melody gets stuck in my head.
the last performance i saw at ouachita was the great god brown by eugene o'neill. the play had brilliantly captured the fear of rejection and the masks that we have grown to love and see as our true faces. i couldn't leave my seat when it was over. the actors had removed their masks for the curtain-call, and i had inadvertently reached up and removed my glasses.
what does it feel like to play the sinfonia for bach's ears only? how hard would i have to listen to only hear what chopin said about my fingers on his ballade?
my masks, my idols . . . they are c chords and d chords. they are green glasses and paisley skirts. they are cat hair and geraniums. they are tattoos and toenails. i'm serving the wrong art, i'm tired.