musical discernment musings in the air

Speaking of music, … when I was flying out to Seattle almost two weeks ago (my how time flies), I was listening to music on my ancient ipod shuffle. As often happens, a string of songs played randomly on the shuffle that spoke deeply to my heart. Although I suppose it's not that random since I uploaded the songs from my itunes to the ipod, but you know what I mean. Anway, I wrote the song titles down on the back of my boarding pass because it seemed like there was really a message there that I was supposed to get.

Song # 1: "For Nancy - Cos it Already" is by Pete Yorn (you can listen/see this song on You Tube)

So take your lessons hard and stay with him
When your car crash comes, don't be misled
Convince yourself that everything is alright
'Cos it already is
'Cos it already is

As I was flying out west, I was marking the year and a half mark of my novitiate. I have 6 months left, and as I wrote last week I have been feeling a bit of "senioritis." I've also been realizing that the time is coming when I'll need to write my letter to request vows. Vows are most likely less than 6 months away! There's still some wondering. Can I really do this? Is this really where I'm meant to be? Is the generation gap and other discernment issues any reason not to follow my heart? ... The message for me in this song is very clear and rings true: "Convince yourself that everything is alright ... 'cos it already is!"

Song # 2: "If Not Now" by Tracy Chapman (on You Tube)

If now now what then
We all must live our lives
Always feeling
Always thinking
The moment has arrived
What am I waiting for? Well for one thing, I'm still officially in the period of discernment. I don't even know the timeline yet for discernment for vows, or even when exactly vows will be. So there is a natural amount of waiting. But more existentially, this song helps me realize that the moment is now. If as my heart seems to be telling me this is where I can be the me both God and I dream I can be, that it makes sense to live now, today, as if the moment has arrived.

Song #3: I Had No Right by Dar Williams (sorry … not on You Tube)

God of the poor man this is how the day began
Eight co-defendants, i, Daniel Berrigan
Oh and only a layman's batch of napalm
We pulled the draft files out
We burned them in the parking lot
Better the files than the bodies of children

I had no right but for the love of you
I had no right but for the love of you

This song tells the story of Daniel Berrigan, which is so interesting to me because during my time back East I have had the wonderful opportunity to hear him preach a few times. Having heard Dan preach, it is so obvious that he is guided by a great love of the God of peace. That is what gets him up each day. God's love is what has drawn him into situations the rest of us might think are crazy. But whatever you think about his history of direct action and controversial acts, it is clear from meeting him that he lives from a great sense of personal peace and integrity. I don't think that I'm necessarily called to quite the same way of living religious life, but I do think that I am called (as we all are) to listening to my heart and living out of my own sense of integrity and peace.

Song # 4: He Woke Me Up Again by Sufjan Stevens (on You Tube)

And I hope, I hope you are tired out
And I know, I know there is joy endowed
But I was asleep
And he woke me up again
And he woke me up again to say

Hold on hold on to your old ways
Or put off put off every old face
And I know, I know you are changed out
I hope, I hope you're arranged out
But I'm still asleep
And you woke me up again

Again, back to my case of Senioritis. A part of me is SO ready for the Novitiate to be over and to begin living a more "normal" life as a Sister of St Joseph of Peace. I'm a bit tired out. I'm a bit changed out. There's only so much personal reflection and "sharing" one can do without getting tired of it! ;) ... But when I hear this song, I hear my loving God telling me that he knows I'm tired. I can take a rest. But He's going to wake me up again. And again. And again. Because life is for living and celebrating, not for sleeping through! And how can I forget that "there is joy endowed." What a promise!!!!

Song #5: Why Does it Always Rain on Me by Travis (on You Tube)

I’m seeing a tunnel at the end of all these lights
Sunny days
Where have you gone?
I get the strangest feeling you belong
When this song came up next, I just started to laugh out loud (which caused my fellow passengers to look askance at me). How fitting! I am seeing a tunnel at the end of all these lights. Time has been flying by. And you know what, I do have the strangest feeling that I belong. This feeling was confirmed by a great week spent at west coast groovy sister hq. And this feeling was confirmed when I returned to the eastern province as well. I feel known and loved. I feel like I have a lot to contribute and look forward to what I will learn from my fellow groovy sister (and associates) travelers over the years to come. I'm able to live and enjoy life, and maybe make a bit of a difference as well. What more can you ask??

1 comment:

Sister Brittany said...

I have a play list on my Mp3 player its called "Vocation Crisis"... lol... it always balances me out. :)