08 December 2009


Or Sehnsucht. What C. S. Lewis called "the 'inconsolable longing' in the human heart for "we know not what."

Taawureng is the Yapese word for it. I know that will not trigger anything in the minds of anyone likely to read this, but it does for me. 'Homesickness,' 'longing' - I know of no English word that quite does it.

The concert is over. The review was good - and William Dart is hard to please, so I suppose we did well. But the concert is over. And I am ... sad, I suppose, I must say. I am listening to the Tchaikovsky now. Foolish me!

Sehnsucht - taawureng -is the deep heart-ache that says, "if only I ... if only I do this, do that ... the ache will be stilled."

It will not be. Nothing will quench that thirst but Heaven, but God Himself. As we approach a concert I feel it so strongly; when the concert is over I am let down. The ache cannot be given peace.

But I will not live without it. We think of the theological virtue of hope as something cheery, light, perhaps. It is not. It is this ache, this deep longing for home. It will be - God grant it! - finally swallowed up in fulfilment. But not by anything this life can offer.

The paradox of hope is that the things - music, beauty, joy - that bring Heaven closest to us are the things that cause that wound to ache most intensely.

We would not do without these reminders of the Thing we hope for for anything. That way lies despair.

I thank God He has given me the inexpressible gift of music.

1 comment:

John from Canada said...

A photo of the Beloved: one glance and we are overcome with longing to be with the One we love. Great music is this for you, I think. Be aware, then: great music will always attract you, never satisfy you, and each time there will be a trough afterward. But it is more than worth it, I think.