Beauty via rabbitears
The children were nestled, all snug in their beds. The sandman had sprinkled his dust on the wife and she was out for the count. And that left me, awake, tired, but not ready to slip into the rhythms of darkness just yet. I turned on the television and the PBS channel was the first to greet me. We do not have cable, so I adjusted the rabbitears and sat back down. A presentation was on that I had seen bits and pieces of, but never the entire show; it was a concert - Celtic Woman. Four young women sing hauntingly beautiful songs for a captive audience in Dublin; and then there's one young fiddle player. There's a lush orchestra supporting them, backup singers, and a video screen with screensaver type images that correspond to the music. It is simply spellbinding. And I was taken captive by its magic.
I knew I was tired. I hadn't slept much the night before and my emotions were quite close to the surface. Nothing wrong with that, mind you - it's just where I was. Within minutes I found myself weeping and smiling and being so grateful that I had randomly landed on this channel. Random; helluva word, huh? Yeah, I don't believe it either. I watched as these young women, physically striking in their beauty, sang individually and as a group for the crowd - songs such as "You Lift Me Up," "Nella Fantasia" and "Orinoco Flow." The traditional Celtic instruments were all there, especially the fiddle. The songs were about love and sorrow and longing and death and earth and sky and blood and hopes and dreams. I watched as the crowd, young and old, sat on the edge of their seats, singing along when they knew the words and nodding along when they didn't; they knew, as I did, that we were in the presence of beauty. Maybe there's another word to describe the experience, but I'll stick with beauty. A vein was opened up in my heart, mind, soul and strength and beauty was transfused in. And I felt alive.
When I think about what I could have watched last night instead: the early news - sorry, no beauty there; some show hosted by Donald Trump - yeah, faggitaboudit; a couple of canned laughter ridden sitcoms - how mindless can it get? Now this is no plug for public broadcasting, but it is a plea for beauty. When the scriptures tell us to fill our minds with beauty (Phillipians 4.8ff), what do we usually think about? More scripture? Thomas Kinkaid paintings (that's probably not how you spell his name; I guess I'd know if I had any of his stuff)? Happy thoughts? What do you think about or dwell on? The number of people watching Celtic Woman last night probably paled in comparison to the numbers watching reruns of Friends, the 10pm news, and that Trump show. But the way to life is narrow, Jesus said; you're probably not going to be able to fit many people on it at once. Last night there was room enough for some Celtic women, a captive audience, and me. And a fiddle player. And if you think all these Celtic women were paper-thin magazine models and that's all this post is about- faggitaboudit!