Saturday, December 24, 2016

Harrison & Harrison Pipe Organ

Making a dump run today. Massive. Haven't been too consistent about it lately. Really don't care.

'Tis the time of year we have to pretend to care that our house is clean.


I flip on NPR and am immediately blown away by beautiful music. Mind blowing, soul rejuvenating music.

They were broadcasting a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College in Cambridge, England.


I did some research. It is an annual tradition introduced in 1918 "to bring a more imaginative approach to worship". It was first broadcast in 1928 and is now broadcast to millions of people around the world. The only year it was not broadcast was 1930.

It is broadcast every December 24 at 3:00 p.m. (England time). I caught the tail end of it.

A piece featuring amazing organ music was playing when I tuned in. I cranked it up like it was the Allman Brothers. So much so that I turned it down a little - I was afraid I would explode my speakers.

I learned that the organ was a Harrison and Harrison pipe organ that had recently been repaired and refurbished. The dude from King's College talked in reverential tones about how much better the organ sounded now. About the effort expended to rejuvenate this instrument and the reward of experiencing such beautiful music.

I get so wrapped up in someone else's emotions when they talk about things that go directly to the heart. I wish I could have seen this guy's face; I wish I could have talked to him.

I don't know what the organ sounded like previously but the music coming out of it today blew me away. Blew me away. It touched my soul and my heart, it brought me out of my dump run lethargy and made me feel fucking alive.

Christmas is contradictory. When I hear music like I heard today I feel the magic. It moves me because it takes me away from reality to a gorgeous alternative reality.

That is what Christmas should do.

But I see and hear all the greedy fools selling and buying, all the insulting commercials, the fucking madness of it all and I want to vomit.

I caught the end of the broadcast and a guy said something like "When you leave here to day you are leaving majesty to re-enter reality. Hopefully the message of this broadcast can reach around the world. That message is love."

He also said something like "May the light of Christmas defeat the darkness."

I so want to believe in those sentiments. I ache to believe them. That you can experience something so beautiful it changes you and inspires you to go out and touch and change others with love and hope.

But I think it is more like a vacation. You go on a magnificent vacation and everything hard about your life melts away.

Until you come home. And go back to work. And realize that your life still sucks.

I was 3,000 miles away from the origins of that broadcast and I was deeply moved. I imagine the people who were actually in the building were shattered in joy.

Still, I don't think any of us will have an impact in the world. I don't think we will make it better.

We go back to working and food shopping and bill paying and struggling to survive and all that beauty fades away.

For a short period of time, though, I felt something so strong it grabbed me and shook me and made me feel good.  It amazed me and filled me with wonder and appreciation.

That might have been Christmas right there.

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