Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Lesson from Young Musicians

I'm grateful to the thoughtful friend who handed us tickets for Saturday night's Chicago Symphony Orchestra performance of Mahler's 3rd Symphony. It's a long work (110 minutes, no intermission) and featured a phenomenal brass section, guest mezzo-soprano, women's chorus, and 52 members of the Children' Chorus.

The sixth and final movement simply was prayer: hushed, fluid lines. The children don't sing till near the end of the piece, but they sat with hands in their laps, perfectly quiet through several movements, waiting to rise for their first entrance. Watching them taught me again how easily we forget how to be still. Their attentive bodies and the expectation on their faces also were prayer last night.

I think I remember how to be still now. For a little while, at least, may I keep this gift.


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