Music has always been a special ingredient in my life. It all began formally in the 4th grade with violin lessons under the patient tutelage of the school string teacher. Our childhood home was filled with dramatic arias of Saturday afternoon operas, broadcast from the Met. Every day after school my mother taught piano lessons in the living room, and I soon came to know each tune in the Ada Richter instruction books by memory. After students left we enjoyed classical music magically produced by heavy plastic discs using the technology of the day, a record player. I recall leaping from a hassock in the living room and dancing to my heart’s delight, as the rich melodies of Handel’s Water Music filled the air. The image of an orchestra floating down the Thames River while entertaining the King of England fascinated me.
Today I refrain from leaping and have not yet played on a river barge, but I happily rehearse and perform with two orchestras and am grateful. My seat is at the back of the 1st violin section. Nestled between the grand piano and the magnificent harp, I love my seat and feel totally absorbed into the fabric of the ensemble. The ethereal sounds of the harp ring out beautifully on one side while the percussive tinkling of piano keys project on the other. It is truly amazing to be in the midst of this. My much smaller instrument provides gentle tones, fitting in but not overwhelming the others. Together we enjoy the experience of creating beautiful music.
Creating something beautiful together….…what would that look like in the wider world, I wonder? Perhaps respectful dialog marked by openness to others who think differently; perhaps a lovely blend of uniquely distinct voices, each graciously adding its special strength; perhaps diverse sizes, shapes, colors, and textures, each with a desire to work and live peacefully side-by-side.
That would be real harmony. Indeed, it would just about be Heaven on Earth!