Then came the sound of a musical instrument, from behind it seemed, very sweet and very short as if it were one plucking of a string or one note of a bell, and after it a full, clear voice-and it sounded so high and strange that he thought it was very far away, further than a star. The voice said, Come.
C. S. Lewis, The Pilgrim’s Regress
I cannot find my way: there is no star
In all the shrouded heavens anywhere;
And there is not a whisper in the air
Of any living voice but one so far
That I can hear it only as a bar 5
Of lost, imperial music, played when fair
And angel fingers wove, and unaware,
Dead leaves to garlands where no roses are.
No, there is not a glimmer, nor a call,
For one that welcomes, welcomes when he fears, 10
The black and awful chaos of the night;
For through it all—above, beyond it all—
I know the far-sent message of the years,
I feel the coming glory of the Light.
Edwin Arlington Robinson, “Credo”
By the close of the work week, feeling hammered, I decided to retire to bed on a Friday night around 9:30. Grading papers for two campuses while restocking my art inventory had pretty well mashed me into the ground. Knowing I had to rise by 7:00 to be on time for a Saturday craft show opening at 9:00 am, I retired to bed around 9:30 pm. Alarms were set. No need. At 4:30 this morning I was wide awake and sleep would not return. After rising and putting on coffee, I settled into a comfortable reading chair with Don Quixote, bathed in the peace of knowing I would not have to go out the door for another four hours.
Some time ago, I purchased the soundtrack CD for the motion picture “A Beautiful Mind.” I find the music very enchanting, and thought of it this morning as I re-read a portion from C. S. Lewis’s The Pilgrim’s Regress. Something about the quality of the musical strains of the soundtrack certainly pluck my deepest strings of desire. A few nights ago, before the crush of grading and art preparations descended upon me, I devoted a few hours to tracing out passages from ancient texts that discuss that quality of desire that makes us lean forward, expecting something better than what we have. When I asked myself what I wanted, I of course could not come up with a simple answer. But one thing I desired then was a space in time of a few hours to let my mind drift over good reading, good thoughts, quality ideas. That gift was presented at 4:30 this morning, and I am currently at peace, very grateful to receive that gift. Later, I’ll go to the craft show, most likely in good spirits.
Thanks for reading. Now I’ll pursue mine . . .