Pilgrim Path

This blog is the work of a seeker and poet. Walking stick in hand, I head out into the world, not of the world, but in the world. My words and my friends carry me along and light the pilgrim path of spiritual journeys.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


For a while now I’ve been convinced that somewhere in the ether is a constantly playing soundtrack that, if we’re lucky, we get to tune it to every once in a while. There is a particular well-known singer whose performance I was fortunate enough to catch on television about 10 years ago. When she completed singing, despite my being home alone, I spoke aloud the words: “That, is the Voice of God.” The singer was Aretha Franklin. She had just finished singing “Nessun Dorma,” a short operatic piece at the Grammy awards. Ms. Franklin was asked, at the last minute, to step in for Luciano Pavarotti who, as he did so many times in his life, cancelled his appearance. The Queen of Soul serenely walked on stage, captivated and stunned the world with her incredible talent, bowed and gracefully walked off to riotous applause.

But, there are other times when I’m sure I’ve also tuned in to
the eternal soundtrack. They are bittersweet moments when I am in awe of beauty and the sound of music feels as if a horsehair bow is being drawn across my heart. Usually, there is no voice; there is simply the sense that what I am hearing is a gift from a perfect world. Perhaps I am fortunate enough to be in one of those “thin places” where the sacred easily comes to us.

I just used the word “awe.” In current world politics, this word has been stolen and its meaning twisted, but I redeem the word now and restore it to its proper context. A couple of weekends ago, I was blessed to attend a concert of Sacred Music. The event was held at Unity Temple in Oak Park, IL, a beautiful standing tribute to the work and life of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. This special night began with a short introduction spoken by author, Caroline Myss. During the introduction, Caroline explained the reasons for her involvement with the Bellissima Opera Troupe who were performing this concert. During this brief talk, she offered the explanation that there is a unique quality in humans that drives us to search for awe. These were the perfect words to lead us into the evening’s music. But, they have stayed with me as I revelled in their gift.

Mystics are well-acquainted with awe resulting from their direct
personal experiences of God. However, awe is not reserved for a chosen few. It is available to all of us. Through the gift of recognizing the presence of God within each other, we are prepared to be awed by one another, when we pay attention.

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Anonymous Robert Johnson said...

You are speaking of the music of the spheres...it IS ecstatic.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Val said...


10:05 PM  

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