Saturday, December 6, 2008


I enjoy the radio show This American Life. It's like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get. Yesterday, I was listening to the program entitled "Music Lessons," (which I wholeheartedly commend to you; stream it here) with segments by David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell, and the wonderful Anne Lamott. Anne--I'm gonna call her Anne, because there's a frank and intimate quality to her writing that makes it seem like we went for coffee last Wednesday--was talking about the power of music to heal us, describing a holy moment at her church that bridged a gulf between two people:

I can't imagine anything else but music that could have brought about this alchemy. How is it that you can have a chord here...and then another chord there, and then your heart breaks open? I don't know the answer. Maybe it's that music is about as physical as it gets. Your essential rhythm is your heartbeat; your essential sound, the breath. We're walking temples of noise, and when you add the human heart to this mix, it somehow lets us meet on a bridge we couldn't get to any other way.

YES. What a miracle to get to participate in it--to create it, to lead groups of people who are doing something so natural, so stuffed with goodwill, and so mysterious. I'm grateful. :-)


FranIAm said...

This American Life. Anne Lamott. Music.

Ahhhh... must go listen.

Thanks for this!

Katherine E. said...

Yes, music is mysterious, as you say. It carries the mystery within it. Thank you. I love the quote.

Diane Vogel Ferri said...

I adore Anne Lamott as well. I have sung in choral groups all my life and I still think it's a miracle that we can all look at some black marks on a page and make music from it - it never loses its beauty. It is always a gift for my soul.

Shalom said...

THANK YOU for posting this - I had listened to the very first part (hilarious bit about the band director going insane) and then had to get out of the car, and had not updated my podcast list, so I did not get the download...long story short (too late!), did not know how to find it. Now I will listen to my heart's content. I mean, really - when I heard the guest list, I thought, "now that's a perfect episode." And the topic was the cherry.

Choralgirl said...

Shalom--LOL; that's exactly what I though when I heard the guest list. Can't remember a time when David Sedaris was the low point in any episode for me, but this one just kept getting better!

INTPanentheist said...

Beautiful, and true.