Monday, June 4, 2007

The Gift of Musical Beauty

Yesterday, I, along with many of the attenders of Nashville Friends Meeting, some part of the practitioners of Nashville Buddhist Temple and those two institutions themselves, was given a lovely gift. Chris Moore has been attending Friends Meeting since he moved here 5 or so years ago (I think in terms of "in the old building" and "after the move"-I can't remember his family at the old location, but that may be my faulty memory), also meditates at the Buddhist Temple and is a sincere soul trying to create peace in this crazy world. He's a mandolin player; came to Nashville because of music (natch). His son and Zed are the same age and were friends the first year they were here because they homeschooled and the boys were together fairly often (they're still friends but only see each other once in a great while).

Chris has written a bunch of songs of a spiritual/innerpeaceful nature. He came up with the idea of holding a concert at Nashville Friends Meeting to benefit the NFM and the Buddhist Temple. Mark Wingate is a fiddle player who collaborates with Chris (and harmonizes most beautifully) (and is the father of Brian Wingate of our Meeting), performed with him.

I attended Meeting for the first time in a month, yesterday, and it was like a breath of fresh air after a long while in a stale room (or more accurately, car). I hugged and was hugged and was so happy to be with my spiritual family and to sit in silent worship, even though bringing with me not the least amount of centeredness, having "chihuahua mind" of late: I know God loves me and accepts me where I am.

It was potluck and Penny's last day with us before her move, but I could not stay to visit. I ran home, sat down to work, made one phone call and got in touch with a woman who is a bank V-P, has a friend who works for the feds and who was quite happy to do the survey right then and there! We finished the interview with just enough time for me to run back to the Meetinghouse for the concert.

I'm not sure what I expected but whatever it was, my expectations were far exceeded. I would call the music Americana Folk/Buddhist Bluegrass; the instrumentation was simple with the music sometimes very spare, others fingers flying. Chris writes about mindfulness and death, silence, prayer and life. My hearing isn't what it once was, so I didn't catch a lot of the lyrics (can't wait for a CD!) but what I did hear really moved me. I had one moment of transcendent joy listening to the beauty, love and pure happiness of the music. It truly was a blessing and a gift.

I asked Chris, afterward, when he will release a CD because I can't wait to sit and listen to his music and meditate on his lyrics. He said he's working on one. I asked him about how he feels about people putting his music on mix tapes; that I'd like to add him to my spiritual song mix: He said he's fine with it. I've been thinking about making him a mix CD since then, kind of as a thank you for yesterday. I'm realizing (duh) that music is a tremendously huge part of my spiritual understanding, at least as big an impact as books. I find Spirit sometimes in the most unlikely places, but there It is! God in lovely harmonies; Grace in a beautiful turn of phrase; love for God in sometimes seemingly banal love songs. I consider Van Morrison to be one of my most important spiritual teachers.

No comments: