from bonhoeffer to kazantzakis
For years, I prayed my daily office. This is the system of Christian daily Morning and Evening prayer. These prayers are in the Book of Common Prayer. I did Morning Prayer only. I also prayed my way over and over through the Psalms. But then I stopped. I found organized religion more and more distasteful. I even started volunteering and playing piano in a local nursing home because I felt that my church work was not really altruistic. I needed to do something to help people in a way that was more clear to me.
But throughout my life as a church worker I have read extensively. People like Thomas Merton and Dietrich Bonhoeffer (not to mention Martin Buber and Alexander Schmemann) have been influential on my thinking.
So it was natural that I would pull out some Bonhoeffer to make sure I wasn’t too far off in my remembering of his ideas. After that a stack of his books sat near my reading chair waiting for me to pick one of them up and do some serious reading. It never happened.
So I gathered up the books and returned them to their place in the Bs upstairs. As I turned to leave the room, a book caught my eye.
I took it back downstairs with me. I began reading in it. It wasn’t long until I came across this passage.
“for by our Lady Moon and our Lord Sun, I swear
old age is a false dream and Death but fantasy,
all playthings of the brain and the souls affectations,
all but a mistral’s blast that blows the temples wide;
the dream was lightly dreamt and thus the earth was made;
let’s take possession of the world with song, my lads!”
Lines 64-69 of the “Prologue,” The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel by Nikos Kazantzakis.
The book seems like cry of the heart for the joy of living. Cool.
jupe motivates himself for service on christmas day
This week I found some organ music for Christmas day which I think is fun. Charles Ore writes lively music which incorporates academic literacy with playfulness and lots of rhythmic vitality.
For my postlude on Christmas Day (a service which will likely have low attendance) I am going to play his piece based on the chorale, Es ist das Heil (Salvation unto Us Has Come).
This is a version of the piece for oboe and organ. it’s essentially unchanged from the organ solo. I think this dude (Ore himself?) plays a bit more ‘holy” than I will. I do like the writing however. This is the kind of piece that appeals to my person aesthetic. I find it honest and playful.
I am looking forward to putting together little recitals that reflect a range of styles and respects the attention span of listeners. By this I mean thinking about not doing all movements of a sonata or juxtaposing pieces for their similar musical materials. Just something I’m thinking about.
If you listen to the video above, the high pitches that first occur around :57 are played with the pedal on a very high stop. On my organ what I am using sounds like a recorder. I think it’s charming.