A few weeks ago, my life changed forever. I am very used to my life changing drastically, it has happened very dramatically several times in my life, but this one might be the biggest. I became a parent. Nothing could have prepared me for the conflict between the pain of labor and the joy of the child it can bring forth. In a way, it mirrors the rest of life. Points of joy with points of pain, spattered together so that the colors sometimes run together, an abstract painting of many layers and lots of unclear borders. A line of music so beautiful it hurts.
Life and death, the words put forth onto the page seem so small, so inconsequential. Nothing one can write can describe the brevity of these two small words. The beginning and the end. These exist side by side, because they cannot exist alone. This theme has been the cornerstone of my own life, the life of the people around me, and also it seems, in the greater world.
I was up last night around two A.M and I noticed that my phone was reporting to me that twitter was very active with news about a Paris attack. Concerned, I unlocked my phone to see what terrors had developed. I was horrified to learn the details of what had transpired. I was also selfishly happy that I was safe in bed with my husband and newborn son, in a city that was unlikely to ever suffer such a terror attack.
We musicians try to counter the horrors of such an event with music. We fight death with the weapons that we have honed through years of practice and study: the clear counterpoint of Bach, the majesty of Elgar, the beauty of Barber. It is what we are called to do in life, wash away the grime, dirt, blood, of this life, gather it all together, mix it with time and space, and create something out of the cesspool of life that transcends this life.