Friday, November 03, 2006

Symphony No. 3, opus 36, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs

Friday morning. Everything feels a little strange because I don't work until this afternoon. I usually work the morning/daytime shifts and so getting up early, but not having to go to work feels all kiddywhomper. It feels good though. I've just brewed a pot of some every wonderful Columbian coffee--decaf, in order to keep my anxiety-altitude at a manageable level.

This morning I felt (feel) overwhelmed. Like always, I am trying to do too much at once. I am having a hard time balancing work, family, friends, animals, writing, art, day-to-day stuff, and time with V. I just want to write and create. I am longing for a retreat that I cannot have. One that lasts for several months and carries me long into winter and deep into the woods. Into the woods--literally and metaphorically.

Today I don't feel like I have time to write as well as I'd like to about last night's performance. But let me just say, that it was beautiful.

Vinny and I sat in the third tier, almost at the very back. And, first of all, let me also say that Orchestra Hall is a very beautiful building. We were far enough away that the musicians looked like little more than quarter inch specs. And so, when the lights dimmed and the music started, I closed my eyes.

It started out quiet and low. Very quiet. Almost inaudible. And slowly, slowly...the sound grew. From the first pull of the strings, the bass nested itself somewhere deep inside of me. As cellos and violins were added, I felt it grow, expand. I didn't hear the music. I felt it. I cannot describe the effects of such harmony. But what I can say is that my body disappeared. Every molecule, every fiber of my being became the music. At one point I had to open my eyes because I got scared. I couldn't feel me anymore. I was vibration. Tumbling through space... I was the blue of the ceiling, the honey-brown of the wood walls. I was the air itself. I was blackness. It was frightening and exquisite all at once. I was afraid and so I opened my eyes. I had to do this on several occasions just to regain my bearings. And, each time, all I could think was how in awe I was that human beings are capable of such beauty. Such incredible harmony. Layers upon layers of sound. It was truly awesome. I would open my eyes and, each time, was entirely surprised to see people, real people creating that sound--together.

I sat there listening, feeling, and thinking about the ways that we, each of us, are connected--like music. I wish I knew the language of music so that I could explain myself more eloquently. I was thinking about how all of our actions, moods, words, creations, they create layers of harmony or disharmony. And in the middle of this thought the orchestra did something amazing and carried a note together so flawlessly that it created a wall of sound as perfect as the sky. It was a sound the color of the setting sun. There were pinks and blues and small amounts of pale orange that shifted into lavender and strange greys.

Something new has opened up inside of me and will never be the same again. Such beauty. I am in awe of what we are capable of.


Anonymous said...

this is beautiful, jessie...i've never been to the orchestra and never had a real desire to go...until your words created this beautiful image

Loralee Choate said...

I don't miss the life of a professional singer.

I DO miss singing with orchestras in beautiful halls. I checked out the singers profile in the link. She's a "Juliette" wow. Must have been very lyrical, light and quick. Bet it was beautiful.

Jessie said...

loralee--yes, she was a beautiful singer. i wanted to write about her too...but didn't know how. there was so much that created the WHOLE. last night, as i listened to her sing, i thought of you...i can only imagine how incredible it must feel to SING like that....lungs so full of oxygen...i was awed by the sheer power of it all.

and ruby--i've never been very interested the orchestra either...but i've since changed my mind. ;)

Kristine said...

I started to cry while reading this. You described the very way I feel about this kind of music. I played the viold for five years and was in a youth symphony in high school. It was not my natural talent so it did not come easily. Part of the problem was that I'd start to listen to the actual music around me and would get lost in it, forgetting that I was supposed to play. I can remember my eyes clouding up as tears ran down my face a few time while trying to play something that touched me. The first time I played Handel's Messiah along with a chorus of singers I almost fell off my chair! It was extraordinary... I sometimes miss that feeling.

melba said...

I KNOW what it feels like to be overwhelmed. So Much to do, so little time. Too many chores and not enough time for creating! Sometimes I think even if I had no other responsibilities, but to care for myself, there Still would Not be enough time to create!

I am glad you loved your evening with music
I wish I could go on a retreat in the woods too!

Anonymous said...

i was having an idea...i'll email it to you....

this was fantastic. i love the last line, particularly.

i want to take you on a date to the opera!!!

sophie said...

i felt like i was sitting there
floating on the notes -
into layers of pillowed poetry:)

beautiful evening:)

HoBess said...

Oh I can't believe I let so much time go between visits. I've missed stopping by. First things first ... your haircut is terrific! Secondly, you say you wish you knew more about music so you could better describe it. Ha! What you've written here carried me directly to an ancient moment at the Chicago Lyric Opera, a symphonic sunset as you describe. This is powerful and beatiful and I'm so excited for you that you got so much from your night of music. And BTW, the last line of this is going on my fridge. Happy Weekend!