It's often the spaces in between the notes that matter most...the silences that interrupt the sound, the pauses that poke little holes in the soaring melodies and thick harmonies swirling around inside our heads.
We stand, focused, shoulder to shoulder, scores held tightly, waiting for direction.
"Whatever you do, do not turn a page in the silence. You never break musical silence." He speaks gravely, quietly...for to break silence would be to impose sound where there should be nothing, to compromise the integrity of all the notes already sung and all the notes to come after that pregnant pause...that holy moment of stillness so full of hope and possibility.
The rhythm at the end is not discernible. Who could even tell that they were triplet figures? He conducts each note suspended in space, the rhythm known only to him, our eyes hanging on the slightest movements of his hands. We wait. He breathes, moves his fingers, shows us what to sing by drawing the rhythm in the air, hanging it in the space between us and himself.
The truest things sometimes can't be grasped while they are happening. It isn't until the second to last
phrase that I understand the fullness of what we have just sung. Despite learning this score inside and out, during meals and during runs, despite waking up humming it and singing it while I brushed my teeth, it isn't until this moment in the space between libera me and libera me that it is fully inside me, that its rhythm beats inside my heart, that I pray it with everything I am without making a single sound.
This is the moment when I discover that singing this work has turned me inside out. A part of me is made new. The strings of my heart vibrate in tune with their Creator. As much as I'm singing, I'm also being sung...part of an eternal melody weaving its way through creation and time and space.
I'm joining up with Lisa-Jo Baker again today to write for five minutes and see what happens, just for the fun of it. For more Five-Minute Friday, follow the link below.