If you’ve been reading along, I may have mentioned that music is a vital part of my well-being. To me, music embodies emotion. It gives expression to things we may have difficulty articulating or even defining. It invokes memory and impacts mood from vibrant jubilee, to heart wrenching grief, to bittersweet yearning or poignant nostalgia. I often find it remarkable how profoundly music can touch the heart.
That being said, I use music and the (illusion of) anonymity in my writing to express the sentiment that I’m uncomfortable sharing more directly. I like to believe I’m reasonably adept at keeping that soft underbelly protected from the public eye. I’ve had too much practice keeping my face and heart as disparate entities. More than a few people have marveled that I am such a positive person, even in the darkest of times. The reality is, I’ve taught myself to smile, even when my heart is breaking…
Lest you start to fret, let me assure you good readers, my heart is well duct taped together at this point. This isn’t the eye of the storm; the maelstrom has well and truly passed. The sun has emerged from behind the clouds and I’m feeling fine.
However, every tempest leaves a scar, and mine twanged last night. We’re singing a piece in my choir that leaves me uncomfortably exposed, to the point that I’m running the alarming risk of becoming publically verklempt. Most people would describe the piece as sweet, perhaps wistfully bucolic, but lack an intimate, personal connection. However, it used to be my life and it reminds me, quite powerfully, of the things that used to be so important to me.
Further introspection brought out this conclusion. I’ve let go the years of control, abuse and betrayal; while at some level it will always affect me (for it irrevocably changed me), it doesn’t cause any continuing angst. I’m over him. The truth is, it’s the farm I still mourn for. I’m still angry at him for taking that away from me, denying me a place and purpose that had become so enmeshed in my identity. Most days I don’t even notice it, but one song filled with pastoral imagery has the capacity to bring it flooding back…
Let Evening Come, by Jane Kenyon
Let the light of late afternoon shine
through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.
Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.
Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.
Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.
To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.
Let it come, as it will, and don’t be afraid.
God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.