Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Five: Moments of Insight

Share with us today about five memorable moments of insight, discovery, awareness--from childhood or later, something you experienced or something you shared with someone else

Dorcas shared a story of her granddaughter going to hear the Mozart Requiem and then asked us to share. Many of my memorable moments have to do with music too.

1. I remember very clearly hearing the L’Arlesienne Suite on the radio when I was about 7 or so. The ‘Bells’ movement has a repeating French horn theme throughout the piece. It was that night I decided that I wanted to play that instrument. And I did. I went on to study music as an undergrad and played professionally until the “Baby Boomers” got out of college and began to ‘flood the market’. By that time I had 'gotten religion' and moved out of my Local.

2. I remember also my first opera. Madam Butterfly. I was about 8. I was caught up with the whole experience of the orchestra. By that time I was playing trumpet but my eyes were still centered on the French horn players. I wasn’t paying much attention to the singers; I was fascinated by the folks playing in the pit. Music became my refuge and the way that I way I could make sense out of the world.

3. On Christmas Eve 1969 I was asked by a nun who was also a French horn player to play for Midnight Mass. That night performance became ‘gift’ and service. It changed my life. And while I still find satisfaction in music and it is the most available channel to the Holy in my life, I have found other avenues to know the greatness of God and the universe.

4. When I was in my twenties I was teaching in a small Roman Catholic parish in So. Texas. The daughters of Gene Krantz, the head comptroller of the NASA Apollo Project were in my classes. I was visiting in their home and I think I made a then PC remark that I didn’t understand the space program when that money could go to the poor. Gene took out a book of space photos that showed infrared images of the Texas-Mexico border. There was a distinct line showing the border and I asked him about that. How could you see the border from space? He told me that it had to do with irrigation. He said that we could provide advice to nations all over the globe to help them with their agriculture and other things to better our world. I became a NASA ‘junkie’ after that. I also became very interested in how our nation as a public entity participated in one of the most advanced form of research and development that has been known. I am sorry that ‘big business’ has taken over this portion of our government because I believe that what developed from NASA’s R & D served the whole nation, not just specific companies. It contributed to the real boom of the 70’s and 80’s. Now NASA is a mere shell. But the photos from space and into space by the Hubble telescope still serve to thrill me and remind me of the awesome power of God. They continue to humble me ( no small feat for this Texas gal) and remind me of my place in Creation.

5. I didn’t grow up enjoying reading. I did not read well as a child. I now know I that I am a bit dyslexic. But I hated reading class because I was slow. I read the all the horse books that girl could find but that was about it. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that J. introduced me to the English mystery writers Dorothy Parker and Josephine Tey and I was hooked! I still read slowly. J can read a book in a night. It takes me 3 weeks. But I do remember that somewhere in my late 20’s I found that because I read slowly, I was a good lector. People could understand what I read out loud. It became important to convey to others by what I read the meaning of the Word. And it became a passion in my life just as music had done in my youth. It was the sharing of the holy—the ineffable—that image of something so beyond me—that I couldn’t contain it.

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