February 14, 2023
There are many ways to connect with the divine. Music is one of them, especially when that music is a harmonizing of soul. Singing and music are integral to our spiritual gatherings in Ireland as we join our voices and souls to the harmonies of the land and sacred landscapes. Our ancestors knew this magic. Sacred music is a divine inheritance of every culture and spiritual tradition.
Yesterday I wandered up to Seattle to see my niece in concert. It was a performance of the University of Washington Symphonic Band which I learned is comprised primarily of students who are not music majors but who want to keep music in their lives. Their majors are all over the map. From environmental and earth/space science like my niece, to software engineering, bioengineering, physics, nursing, marketing, psychology, industrial design and more.
Sitting in that concert hall and watching the joy on stage I was struck by their passion, their passion to sustain this connection to music and harmonies at a time when their lives are clearly headed in professional directions that don’t often dance with the music. And this landed as such a great hope for me. That these young people, who will inherit and navigate the complexities of our current world, might stay connected to the intrinsic harmonies that flow through all life is just so hope-filled. And in this they will, as Rassouli paints, stay in touch with their immanent soul.
No. I have no illusion that any of those musicians on stage would name this as the reason they joined the symphonic band. But I choose to believe that somewhere deep inside they know this to be true. I choose to believe that they intuitively know their music is a lifeline to the harmonies that flow through our world, harmonies that will continue to enrich their lives and, in turn, our world.
What flowed through me in that concert hall were not only symphonic harmonies. What flowed through me were harmonies of hope.