On Poetry: Light the World

Light the World by Ingrid Stölzel is a piece commissioned in honor of Te Deum‘s 10th season. The world premier was November 11, 2017 and, in case you missed it, here is a recording.

The text is by Robert Bode, and I have been finding it truly fascinating in its complexity.

May the Mother in us comfort us
And the Father in us protect us;
May the Daughter in us bring us Hope
And the Son within us bring us Joy.

May the Dancer in us move us
And the Poet inspire our Song.
May the Explorer embolden us
And the Artist honor the Beauty that holds us.

May we all be Creators and Priests and Nurses and Heroes,
And may our Song lift beyond these walls
To light the world.

On the face of it, this poem is about honoring the various parts of who we are and letting those parts inspire us to greatness (or change, or wholeness). But then this:

May we all be Creators and Priests and Nurses and Heroes,
And my our Song lift beyond these walls
To light the world.

The final couplet puts creative and healing roles into the same breath, which is a wonderful reminder that heroes are around us every day. That heroes are not always caped and masked and covered in spandex. It then reminds us that however we affect the world with our Song, however we help to create and heal in this world, we should hope that it radiates out into the world like light.

I remind myself daily that I should always strive to “shed light, not heat”. Knowledge (and joy and love and inspiration) only increases the more we share it with others. I know that it’s not my role in life to hold selfishly to my light and let others simply feel the heat of it. It is my role to share it and in doing so increase what I have through others.

If you haven’t listened to the piece yet, you should. If you already listened to it once, maybe listen to it again!

St John Passion BWV 245

This afternoon I have the good fortune of joining some incredibly talented musicians to sing Bach’s Johannespassion. We’re singing it in English instead of the original German, which brings a different sort of drama to the whole thing, and has been an interesting expressive journey.

If you care to watch via the livestream, I highly recommend it.

If amazing singing isn’t your thing (the choir will be joined by Kyle Stegall and Charles Wesley Evans… so if singing isn’t your thing now it might be afterward), then you might join for the historically informed orchestra and their instruments. For our instrumental enthusiasts out there, I’ll tell you that we have a viol de gamba and an oboe de caccia joining us which is as delightful as you might imagine.

If none of this caught your eye, then I still encourage you to watch the concert if for no other reason than because I would love your support. ☺️

Baby It’s Cold Outside, an Update

I really do love this particular holiday song. However, as I got older and started actually paying attention to lyrics, the creep-factor really couldn’t be ignored anymore.

Enter this charming adaptation from Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski. Listen without the guilt and, if you’re feeling the holiday spirit, consider purchasing the track to benefit the Sexual Violence Center and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence.

The Three Most Difficult Words

According to Denise Lance, “I need help” are the most difficult words for people to say. In her poignant TEDxKC talk, she explores the inherent issue with placing such a premium on the concept of independence.

For people who work with me often, they will know that I am very quick to ask what help others need. I’m much less quick to ask for that help in return. I’ve never thought of it as a fear of looking weak or incapable, but there has to be something to that. This talk caused me to wonder if, by refusing to admit we ever need help, we end up protecting ourselves from the judgements of others but ultimately from a deeper connection with people who aren’t like us. In the end, isn’t everything that we use as a shield just that? A shield?

Shields down, my friends. Time to make a connection.