Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Touching perfection

I attended a choir concert this past Sunday evening at Frogner church performed by the Frogner Chamber Choir. One of the young women I work with (Mara) sings soprano in the choir and she had invited a number of us to attend. It was a beautiful concert, with religious music by Bach, Bruckner, DuruflĂ©, and Vierne. Bruckner especially appealed to me. It was interesting to watch the members of the choir as they sang. They were happy—it showed in their faces and in their body language, the way they held forth and the way they held their song books. It was clear that they were doing something they loved to do. It was inspiring to watch them. I realized while watching them that a choir is the sum total of all its parts—the sopranos, tenors, altos and basses—and that it needs all of its members. The choir is a team that works well together under the guidance of the conductor. Each person has his or her role to play and each role is important to the choir and to the completeness of the performance. One’s job is to be the best soprano or tenor one can be. No one needs to be anything other than what they are; no one should try to be either. It would not make sense to do so. Why would a soprano try to be a bass when there is no realistic basis for that?

The teamwork in a choir is a great metaphor for life. We all have our roles to play. Each of us has talents that others don’t have. We are all good at something, and if we do the best job possible (a complete job) with that, that is our gift to the team and to society. Each of us contributes to the wholeness of a particular workplace or society. 

Perhaps it is the sense of experiencing a kind of completeness, of feeling that one is touching perfection, which leads to the transcendence that one experiences when listening to a beautiful piece of music or when reading a well-written book or article. It is like capturing a little piece of heaven here on earth, but we cannot hold onto it for more than a moment in time. Life is made up of many such short moments. Experiencing these gifts from others reminds us to use the gifts and talents that God has given us in the best possible way—to give beauty and happiness to others as well. 

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