Language of The Spirit
“Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.”
― Kahlil Gibran
I have precisely zero chill when it comes to a song I like. When I fixate on a song, I will play it on repeat all day, for weeks. (My kids LOVE this) It doesn't have to be a new release (Ed Sheehan and Taylor Swift are the obvious exceptions). I recently "discovered" Kyrie by Mr. Mister. I know; it came out in 1985. I was into Amy Grant and Michel W. Smith then (and in 5th grade, so you know…)
Listen Here: Mr. Mister - Kyrie (Official Video)
I can't stop listening to the chorus.
Kyrie Eleison down the road that I must travel
Kyrie Eleison through the darkness of the night
Kyrie Eleison, where I'm going, will you follow?
Kyrie Eleison on a highway in the night
Kyrie Eleison is Greek for Lord, Have Mercy and is a part of the Compline prayers from the Book of Common Prayer (Compline is the last set of prayers before bed)
Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy
So the meaning of the words in the chorus are:
Lord, have mercy down the road that I must travel
Lord, have mercy through the darkness of the night
Lord, have mercy where I'm going, will you follow?
Lord, have mercy on a highway in the night.
The invitation of these lyrics is to remember we don't ever walk alone. The very first line of the chorus gets me every time. Kyrie Eleison down the road that I must travel. That word must. The road that I must travel. It's a surrender to the circumstances, pulls, and challenges of life. There are things that happen to us in life that we must face. But, we walk in mercy in all things.
Kyrie Eleison down the road I must travel
Lord, have mercy down the road I must travel.
Kyrie Eleison through the darkness of the night.
In her book Learning to Walk in the Dark, Barbara Brown Taylor defines darkness as a: shorthand for anything that scares me that I want no part of -either because I am sure that I do not have the resources to survive it or because I do not want to find out."
Lord, have mercy as I walk through things that scare me, and I want to have no part in.
Thinking about writing this piece, I realized that the two lines: Kyrie Eleison down the road I must travel and Kyrie Eleison through the darkness of the night, are the two lines that really shape the entire song for me. They are the lines that provide depth, structure, and meaning. The message and the invitation are in those two powerful lines. Don't get me wrong, I love the entire song. But upon further reflection, it's two small lines that invite me into this song. These two lines keep me coming back to listen over and over again.
The invitations to smaller and deeper are everywhere. Hidden in 80's songs, lines of poetry, and hummingbirds.
Is there a song that holds your invitation to smaller and deeper? Put it on repeat. Listen with earphones. Look up the lyrics. Let the invitation sing deep in your soul.
Evensong by Gail Godwin
I mentioned last week I was starting this book. I finished it this week, and it was better than expected. I dog-eared so many pages with paragraphs of text that I want to revisit. It's the story of Margaret, an Episcopalian Priest in a small southern town. It's the story of a few weeks in December in 1999, right before the turn of the millennium.
"How glibly and thoughtlessly that phrase 'make us grow' slides off our tongues. As if growth were always a happy, shapely matter: leaves unfurling, blossoms opening, hearts and minds joyously stretching toward more light. Whereas the fact of the matter was, when we asked for growth, we were asking for a mess. Exploding tempers privately nursed little Petri dishes of resentments, insecure stumblings into dangerous new places."
― Gail Godwin, Evensong
"We cannot live in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a hope. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening. To use our own voice. To see our own light. —Hildegard of Bingen"
"What if I could learn to trust my feelings instead of asking to be delivered from them? What if I could follow one of my great fears all the way to the edge of the abyss, take a breath, and keep going? Isn't there a chance of being surprised by what happens next? Better than that, what if I could learn how to stay in the present instead of letting my anxieties run on fast-forward?"
― Barbara Brown Taylor, Learning to Walk in the Dark
"We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It's just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy."
― Pema Chödrön
"Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances."
― Maya Angelou