Tuesday, November 10, 2009

From the Journal

From the Journal...

I am sitting here listening to the high school chorus practice in the sala de pastoral next door. They sing BEAUTIFULLY... guitar, not piano. Harmonies you could sleep on and from the heart, from the heart. I love listening to them. It reminds me of my kids in other places.

Just returned from reading in English to four year olds and continuing in Spanish the tales of the very small woman who appeared on my thumb one morning while I was walking, sipping my coffee, and looking at the flowers. This time, I told the kids about a group of us going to a Benedictine monastery this past weekend (true--it was lovely) and that the monks sang when they prayed. I went looking for my friend once and she was not to be found. I searched many places and finally found her in the chapel where the monks were singing. SO beautiful was the sound of their voices singing together to praise God, that she was able to float on the musical notes in the air! When I walked in, there she was, floating and sliding and rising on the music while sitting on the useful tree leaf she brings with her everywhere. She had the most wonderful smile on her face when she finally settled back down onto the pew beside me...her eyes were closed...and there were tear droplets on her cheek. I heard her sigh with happiness before she opened her eyes, then she hopped into my hand and we went into lunch.

The other thing that happened recently and that I found fascinating in a way that prompts others to raise their eyebrows and think, ¨Oh, you have waaayyyy too much time on your hands...¨ is that I heard an animal speak in another language for the first time! This monastery was named Lliu-Lliu (zjhew-zjhew). We wondered what kind of name that was and were hypothesizing about its origins as we drove there. We got out of the car and within moments, I said ¨That´s why! Listen!¨and sure enough, the birds that are so present there have a call that is precisely lliu-lliu!
I had always found it interesting that animal sounds are recorded differently in different languages... how your ear can hear either cock-a-doodle-doo or kir-ii-kee-kee, depending on what else your ear has been hearing for your life to date. And that both can be plain as day for those who hear it that way. I had not before considered the influence of culture on sound interpretation, but there you have it as well as in the more affective aspects of a personality and more obvious things like foodways, social norms, etc. Something new to contemplate.

Every day I find myself saying to God, ¨You are so amazing.¨ and ¨Wow, you mean there´s more??¨

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