It may or may not have been the same year
Daddy survived electric shock therapy,
that year he lived in a quiet building by water
with scratchy linens and locked windows
and a special room where people did crafts,
the year I was 7 or 8 years old,
when I first spoke Greek.
It happened by way of a song. Old enough
to stand beside Mom in church,
entrusted with one side of the red hymnbook,
ancient words in a magical language
rose around us: Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison—
Lord, have mercy, Christ have mercy.
It’s all I can think of today.
I’ve turned off ongoing footage of catastrophe, heartbreak and accusations, nuclear stand-offs, and always, always, the endless spin.
Not that I want escape. Well, maybe, a little.
I need to re-position myself squarely, silently, in God’s presence.
Out of stillness comes a memory of classes taken.
For the student of Mime, the first key position is Neutral. Neither rigid, sloppy, nor static, it’s a posture of yielded, relaxed, absolute readiness. The whole being is poised. Alert. Balanced.
Neutral is the springboard for any initial gesture. A launch pad for the slightest expression. Action. Story.
I must keep returning to temporary neutral. I need a larger perspective, a longer view. A sense of how God wants me to respond as I go along. There’s a road that I am traveling.
You have one too.
As Mr. Mister famously sang, back in the ’80s: “Kyrie eleison on this road that I must travel.” (link below)
Not resignation, but rather, responsiveness.
Not apathy, but radical, trusting attention.
And then—shock therapy—as I’m writing this post my screen alerts me to a high school shooting today: 3 injured, one dead, the killer in custody. In a town of 500—not far from mine.
Lord, have mercy!
Words fail us. Fate laughs. Logic shrugs and turns its back.
In times like these, music can help us keep our hearts open, empathic. It helps us pray.
Below are my favorite Kyrie versions, in multiple genres, some with visuals. Please experience several (use the back arrow at the top of your screen to return to the post for more links).
And … can we start a Playlist? Leave a title and/or link in the comments below and tell us your go-to music when life falls apart. I’ll create a Playlist and post it.
Meanwhile, here’s a springboard prayer:
Cupped in our hands, held in our minds and our hearts,
here, and now, Merciful God who encompasses all,
here is what we can barely hold:
My favorite today, click arrow below, static image, birdsong, strings
Please share title and/or link for your go-to music. It’s one more way we keep each other strong.