We went to the symphony Friday night with some dear friends. The hall is mostly circular. We sat in the dress circle which put us at eye level with the orchestra about thirty feet away. A great spot to not only listen to the music but a wonderful vantage point to watch them in action.
As the maestro gave the downbeat you could see all the violin, cello and bass bows work in perfect synchronicity. The horns were raised and provided right punctuation for the piece. I love trombones and French horns the best. Brassy but a little more subtle than the brash trumpets. Like me. Ha! Fill in with percussion, oboes, flutes and a harp and there you had it. A well meshed group providing a single sound. Very cool.
It had been a crazy week. I found myself deep in thought trying to figure out this world of ours and making some sense of my own. Don’t get me wrong. I love it. But it was just great to sit there and listen to warmth on a winter’s night. It was great to hear community.
On Sunday we went to mass in new parish we have joined. This place is special in all aspects. You go to church not because you have to but you want to. The place is packed for all different times and they just added another mass on Sunday evening. Quite an accomplishment in this day and age.
It could be the music. There is a choir of at least fifteen and sometimes thirty at all masses. The female director has a fantastic voice and accompanies with a violin that has an Irish lilt to it. The great part is that the solos aren’t always by the all stars. Some of the lesser divas stand up and belt out this or that with something less than perfect pitch. Doesn’t matter. And the shock of all things is that everyone in church sings. For you non Catholics that is not our forte.
Maybe it is the priest. A really great guy named Pr. Pat. He connects with people like the best of them. He writes a lot of the music for mass. He has a strong voice both musically as well as verbally. The church is in the round. He is dramatic as he circles the altar with ease during his homily, making sure to have eye contact with all. He is down to earth and yet learned. It is a sight to behold.
We had a baptism yesterday. Not just a splash of water but a full scale dunking. The kids of all families in church gathered around. Pat makes it a celebration not just a rite. At the end he packs the infant under his arm and walks around the church introducing him to the parishioners as they touch and clap for him. This is good stuff.
The people are engaged. They smile, sing and pray together. This is not Rome’s church. It is theirs. It’s not so much a revival meeting as it is a group of people who feel pretty good about their God and their religion. Nice to see.
As I am sitting back and relishing these events you can’t but help to drift towards what is going on today. Take your town, state, country or world and look at it as an orchestra or a parish. If for one moment we didn’t worry about who was trying to screw us and instead saying what can I do for you, where could we be?
It’s Monday as I write and the usual diatribes are coming across in the emails. Imagine if all those clever individuals put some time in on solving problems instead of calling people out, where we could be? We had great employment numbers. The candidates and Rush spent all weekend explaining why they were bad. Obama has the GOP candidates killing one another and he decides it is smart to take on religious freedom. None of these guys will be invited into Mensa just yet.
I saw some kids competing on a science contest for eighth graders. There were great devices and theories. A lot smarter than me. I thought of Solyndra. Imagine if we spent that $500 million on 5,000 $100,000 prizes to kids for worthwhile inventions. Or better yet 500 $1million prizes to industry. I like that way better.
Imagine if we were all like an orchestra. Sure we would have a solo here and there but we would come back to the same melody. We would pick up some one who was faltering and help them along instead of putting them down. Sure there is a conductor but he is there to guide and not dictate. We would all be in there together. There would be a long standing ovation. What sweet music we could make.
Ted The Great
Wonders of the World,
The Great Pyramid, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Temple of Artemis, Statue of Zeus at Mt Olympus, Colossus of Rome, Lighthouse of Alexandria, Mausoleum of Halicamassus
15 million people in the US live alone. The highest percentage in DC and New York. 50% of the households are one person.
1/3 of taxes in Greece are just not paid. This equals the deficit per annum.
There are 25 million more male children in China than there are female. Nice odds if you are on the right side.
There is only a three month supply of Methotrexate which is the optimum treatment for childhood leukemia. A bill aimed at resolving this shortage is sitting in limbo in Congress. No action being taken because the Dems want to give the FDA more power to correct the problem and the GOP doesn’t want to give them any more power. Ergo stalemate and kids could die.
As usual, I love your vignettes and insights into your active thought processes. I am grateful however, that my name is not Kathy and be subjected to the continual benefice of your keen mind. I have just a few added comments to your blog:
-We had season tickets in Dress Circle 2 for probably 10 years during our Denver days and as you can guess MB slept peacefully through many a concert. Our good friend has been principal trombone in the DSO for many years so it was always a special thrill to partake in any concert he was in…and what a great sound in the hall. Those were great days.
-It is not possible in PHX/Scottsdale to recreate a religious experience such as yours….consider yourself blessed many times over.
-Two years ago there was an IRS/HHS sponsored grant program for innovations in cancer care that was exclusively for small companies like OvaGene. It was funded to the tune of $2 Billion I believe. OvaGene was fortunate to get $516,000 in 3 grants for ovarian and uterine cancer molecular diagnostics development. Unfortunately that grant program was not renewed this year by congress. It was money well spent by the govt in terms of direct flow through to improved patient care. I guess the money is better spent to fly politicians around the country and the world or maybe to give them lifetime federal health insurance…anything’s better than actually helping patients it would seem.
-Congress is only partly to blame re the drug shortages and methotrexate is not the only important chemoRx drug to experience shortages. The drug companies are partly to blame I think as well since they are less inclined / financially incentivized to put forth effort to continue to commercialize generic chemotherapy drugs. Many people to blame, but again, only the patients are left to suffer.
Keep up the good work
Ted, One of the things we miss most from CO is our symphony seats in Dress Circle II with the bird’s eye view of all the musicians. And one of our dear friends is John Daley, the principal trombone player, who would always wave at us. And then we’d go out after with John and his wife Cindy (a former first violinist) for dessert after the concert. Ah, memories! I go to the Coffee Classics here in Phoenix, but I can never see the individual musicians, and end up longing for the good old days at Boettcher Hall!
What parish are you and Kathy going to? It sounded lovely! Cheers — Mary Beth