Sunday, May 20, 2012
What Moves You?
[If the above video doesn't open for you, it is Alison Kraus singing "Down in the River to Pray," from the film Oh Brother, and is available on YouTube.]
This morning I heard from a friend who has struggled for many years to reconcile reason and spiritual experience. Or maybe the problem was that he wanted to reconcile reason and faith - what people believe about that which cannot be captured in a laboratory (which is most of everything). He wrote about being tremendously moved by music sung in a foreign language.
I feel that too, but also thought of how I have been moved sometimes by the captured/expressed energy of visual art. The scene above is a lovely marriage of visual art and music, the ethereal chorus moving slowly and in harmony toward baptism. The river, a symbol that is universal wherever people have rivers. I was also thinking of the time I walked around a corner in The Museum of Modern Art and found myself face to face with a small painting, "The Starry Night." Layers and layers of paint. It hit me in the solar plexus. It is the most famous of van Gogh's many attempts to capture "It," the divine essence in everything. If you like, you can go here and scroll down for a brief experience of it.
Daniel Terragno once said to me mildly, "Zen is not for everyone." In fact, Zen claims that the essence, reality, the sacred is everywhere in everything. Where is it for you? Is that in your life?