Saturday, April 18, 2009

Finding Right Pitch --> Parish Council --> Orthodox Hymn

Original post: April 18, 2009
Latest update: October 31, 2009


On Wednesday morning of Holy Week (4/15/09) I awoke from a dream:
I'm trying to find the right pitch on my pitch pipe to sound for members of the parish council. We are in an open, barren area with a paved street, concrete curb, gutter and sidewalk. A long narrow dirt-colored carpet has been rolled out on the sidewalk and then moved aside away from the street. There is no vegetation of any kind in the area; only brown barren dirt. One or two long folding tables have been placed on the ground parallel to the sidewalk.

Four visitors have come into the area to inspect what is on the tables. One is a huge, silent mountain of a man in red shirt who faces me while tenderly holding the hand of a tiny girl, perhaps 2 or 3 years old, on his left. They are accompanied by a small, quiet old woman who stands next to the little girl further to their left. A middle-aged reclusive man sits on a chair near the tables on the side furtherest from the sidewalk with his back to me and the others. He turns his head to his left when he senses me looking at him and says quietly: "I feel cozy here." Although council members feel present, I don't see them.


This is clearly a depiction of my personal inner landscape. How it describes my outer reality remains to be seen. In reflecting on this dream scene in terms of my role as a member of the newly-established parish council, I feel compassion for these four dream visitors, but have no idea how to relate to them.

As I continued to wonder about this, it occurred to me that, once the hymn is pitched "right" and sung with beauty, gentleness and inspiration, the music will hopefully envelope and bring these and other visitors into our spiritual community. I shared this dream with Fr. John the next day in anticipation of our final Paschal [Orthodox Easter] celebration. He empathized with my dilemma.

5 comments:

  1. In spite of the turmoil of dealing with the music for Pascha, I was filled with the Holy Spirit and with joy! Each time I turned to the congregation with candles and incense I cried Christ is Risen! And each time I was filled to the brim with the joy of this profound truth! Fr John

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  2. Fr. John, I am grateful that my frustrated outburst during the Liturgy did not destroy your experience of those sacred moments. I will have more to say by way of apology and plea to the parish when we are all together again. Bless you.

    Zhenya Arseny

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  3. The following Sunday was an entirely different experience. The loud, overwhelming voice that I had complained about was missing and this allowed the rest of us in the council to hear each other and produce beautiful harmony. The challenge for us is how to relate to and transform the other voice when she returns.

    Zhenya Arseny

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  4. I had a follow up dream on May 5, which gives me some encouragement regarding the "barren" landscape. In the dream "I am with workmen in a field helping them to harvest healthy sod to be stacked and saved for future use."

    Before the barren area mentioned in the post can sustain such healthy green sod, the ground must be well prepared. Let us hope our parish council meeting tomorrow (Saturday 9 May) can help prepare that ground!

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  5. The parish council meeting on May 9 turned out to be a disaster! We discovered a monumental problem with all our egos, which we must transcend or face the demise of the council, if not the parish. How to get beyond this problem will take all the creativity and humility we can muster.

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