I read this just now and suddenly I'm crying and crying and cannot stop.
I didn't know him, but he was from my town.
He was only a few years older than my kids.
When I yank myself back from this very personal precipice of horror and try to be detached, I can see that news like this is beginning to feel like the casualties statistics from Vietnam. In 1965 I remember starting to pay attention to the death toll reports, and being a little in awe; a "Gosh, I'm living through History or something!" attitude. As months and then years went by, I started numbing up, until the death reports simply got monotonous and I dismissed them as "the SOS."
Nearly forty years later: I'm living through History; I'm numbing up; More of the "Same Old Shit."
As a result, I've decided to go to choir rehearsals tomorrow night. It'll be the first time I've gone since...... October 2001.
After 14 years I bugged out of the Canticle Choir, once my refuge and my weekly free therapy session, because other responsibilities and obligations were pressing in and the proverbial Something had to give.
For some reason, probably having to do with being Norwegian and Lutheran, I've been able to separate my disillusionment with my church from my love of choral singing. Fact: If you are a Lutheran of Scandinavian heritage living in the Midwest, chances are overwhelming that you sing in a choir. Choral singing is rampant here. Everybody's in a choir. Always. I may be forever disenchanted with the church, but nothing could possibly drive me away forever from singing in a church choir. It is absolutely the most spiritual, soulful, therapeutic and cathartic activity I've ever experienced.
[Yes, including sex. I am a middle-aged woman, and one of the best perks of that job is knowing that I'll never mince another word in my entire life if I don't want to. Get used to it.]
So, here it is Holy Week 2004, and I'm sobbing over a 22-year old kid from Eden Prairie who was killed in Iraq , and I don't know how to deal with the emotional pain. I know the Canticle Choir will be singing a requiem at the Tenebrae Service at St. Andrew Lutheran on Good Friday, and so I will be there too, singing.
We will be doing either the Brahms German Requiem, in English, or the Rutter, or the Fauré. The Brahms is wonderful, but I'm hoping for the Fauré. Has there ever been a more beautiful, all-encompassing musical expression of comfort and meditation and love? I say No.
Okay, now you go listen to the Fauré Requiem. Right now. Peace.
Cross-posted on my blog.