Ok, I didn’t post this morning because I was exhausted and was happily making breakfast for my lovely wife and lovely mom. Also opening gifts and then riding up to the Hatch family xmas lunch.
Last night went very well at church.
The choir outdid themselves with singing well and being very responsive to my directing. That’s always nice. My friend Dawn played the cello sonata that I edited for her by Vivaldi. She nailed it and I really like this piece. The cong sang their little hearts out for Jesus and I made it through the postlude, a Vivaldi/Bach concerto movement, with just a little frazzled moment of a wrong registration change.
Home to martinis and the pope on tv (of course… but not for long…. just looking in on what’s on that late on Xmas eve).
So last night was a Italian baroque Xmas at Grace church: Corelli and Vivaldi. Tomorrow for the prelude and postlude I am going a bit more tradition with French Baroque noels by my favorite composer of these: Dandrieu.
I was surprised to read that Dostoevsky didn’t think of himself as a believer. His books are such great books about life and they always seemed kind of religious to me. Gethsemani, the trappist monastery where Thomas Merton lived, used to insist that people who wanted to enter the monastery as monks read the Brothers Karamazov as part of their training.
I got the new translation of this book for Xmas. In the introduction the translator quotes this passage in a letter by Dostoevsky:
“I will tell you regarding myself that I am a child of the age, a child of nonbelief and doubts up till now and even (I know it) until my coffin closes. What terrible torments this thirst to believe has cost me and still costs me, becoming stronger in my soul, the more there is in me of contrary reasonings. And yet sometimes God sends me moments in which I am utterly at peace.”
This is the closest I can get to inspirational on Xmas day itself. I myself relate to this passage quite strongly.
Today I am having a bit of that peace that he mentions. Admittedly I am exhausted and sipping a martini but definitely utterly at peace.