Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Setting my mind on a musical instrument was like
falling in love. All the world seemed bright and changed.
W. C. Handy, African-American composer; known as the
“Father of the Blues”; son of emancipated slaves; he was
born on this date, 1873, in Alabama (died 1958, in Harlem)
The Central Coast has been at its best for the last several days – warm and sunny and clear. Dennis and I were driving north on 101 from Santa Barbara late this afternoon. About 5pm, we were skirting the Pacific, on that fabulous run by El Capitan, Refugio, and Gaviota Beach, headed for the tunnel. The sky was ….. well, sky-blue and utterly cloudless. A shining glittering golden path led from the beach out to the straight line of the horizon. Just above it hung Sol, our life-giving star, a huge, round perfect disk of gold. It took my breath away. My mind was held in awe by the taken-for granted fact that it was 93 million miles away and looked a mile; that from that immense distance it had the power to warm and light and give life to the Earth in its cold dark orbit where no other star shines.
“All the world seemed bright and changed”!
These days, I find myself discouraged by the state of the Earth, its hunger, war, greed, suffering. I try not to focus on it, but it seeps into me and takes me over unconsciously. But there this afternoon was a free gift from the Universe! Once again, I fell in love with Life and Being and exquisite Beauty and Mystery.
For W. C. Handy, it was setting his mind on a musical instrument that would lead him to his place as “Father of the Blues”. For me, long ago now, it was setting my heart on holiness. Its light has not dimmed, despite the only small steps of advance.
My soul is quiet and at peace tonight.