Last week Harry loaned me this cd recorded by the Turtle Creek Chorale, a local men's chorus. I've listened to it while at work and driving, but that doesn't give it a fair hearing. So I just laid in bed and listened with headphones (really the best way to hear many albums).
What a incredible piece of music. It is composed by Kristopher Jon Anthony to text by Peter McWilliams. It was written in remembrance for those who have died of AIDS. However the music is universal. It takes many of the traditional sections of the Latin Requiem Mass (Requiem aeternam, Dies irae, Lacrimosa, Agnus Dei) and matches them up with text written about the Stages of Grief. And this is incredible text. I want to reproduce it for you and have one comment at the end:
The fear that I would
come home one day and find you gone has turned
into the pain of the
What will I do if it happens?
What will I do now
I know our time together
is no more.
Then why do words
come to mind that call you back?
Why do I plan lifetimes
that include you?
Why do I torture myself
I never felt while you were here?
The layers I have put
around the pain of your going are thin.
I walk softly through life, adding thickness each day.
A thought or a feeling
of you cracks the surface;
a call to you shatters it all.
I spend that night in death
and spin the first layer of life
with the sunrise.
I'm past the point of going quietly insane.
I'm getting quite noisy about it.
The neighbors must think I'm mad.
I know, I know it was time for us to part
I know I had much pain to go through,
I am missing you
far better than
I ever loved you.
I shall miss loving you.
I shall miss the Comfort of your embrace.
I shall miss the
Loneliness of waiting for the
calls that never came.
I shall miss the Joy of your comings,
and the Pain of your goings
after a time,
I shall miss
And through all the tears
and the sadness
and the pain
comes the one thought
that can make me
internally smile again:
I find the acceptance text (and the accompanying music) to be the most powerful. The poet is right, there is a time when in grief and heartache that you, paradoxically, don't want to give up your pain, because it is the depth of your pain that reminds you of the height of your previous joy.
So, I recommend this album heartily.