Yesterday as I arrived at church for the funeral, there were young children running and yelling throughout the church.
They also attacked the piano and began plunking. Soon they were joined by an adult who began playing “Heart and Soul” but soon ran off after the kids. Nice.
The crowd in the other room was quite loud as it waited for the funeral. As people entered, I began playing Bach and Mozart quietly on the piano. My strategy when confronted by a group that doesn’t seem to notice that I am playing music is to play a little softer. One elderly woman who could not walk without assistance murmured to me as she passed the piano, complimenting me and using my name. I didn’t recognize her. Finally I stopped playing. The room was filling up with people chatting with each other.
I think I have come to accept this part of being alive right now in my little neck of the woods. The parts of life that enthrall me (great music and literature) do not seem to exist for many people.
“Listen privately, silently to the voices that rise up
from the pages of books and from your own hearts.”
Wendell Berry, This Day, p. 306
After the service, a couple of people asked me many questions about my work. One of them let slip that she thought I looked 70 due to my wrinkles. 70? I could only smile.
“And so you disappear
Into your days, your days
Into the ground. Before
You start each day, the place
Is as it is, and at
The day’s end, it is as
It is, a little changed
By work, but still itself,
Having included you
And everything you’ve done.”
Wendell Berry, This Day p. 124