Where I Can See God’s Fingerprint
News networks around the globe seem determined to swallow up the horrors of the world and to vomit it out in thirty-minute reports on their channels.
It seems there is much to be afraid of and much to drive us to melancholy.
I could ride along with them, dear reader. I could journey with them on that train of despair and take you with me. Only God knows where that train would lead, and I don’t wish to discover it.
Instead I will dare to be a voice in the wilderness that cries out to the world to behold all things bright and beautiful.
An unfortunate consequence of being locked in the house is the inevitable overeating, with the resulting expansion of my waistline.
In a fierce attempt to combat this, I have begun to take short walks in my neighbourhood.
Before you question the efficacy of this, I must state that there are steep hills that challenge my short, stout figure.
When I begin my cardiovascular exercise, something happens. I notice, unintentionally, the elaborate patterns on the bark of trees and I see the spider web of leaves clinging to branches.
I am in the glory of the sun and the sky sings to me.
All of this, I am aware, is the most cliché of clichés and the cheesiest of cheesy realisations. But on the plain streets of plainest suburbia, there is something, dare I say, beautiful.
Many of my friends who were fortunate enough to keep their jobs have complained of long days behind the computer and the ensuing weariness. In some twisted way, my lack of employment has given me time to myself that I otherwise would not have experienced.
Maybe I’m crazy or maybe for the first time I have climbed out of my self-centred world to see the print God left when creation was being formed.
The genius of music
And when this toil is over, I wander into the misty forest of music. There was a time when I indulged in bubblegum pop tunes that were as light as candyfloss.
Out of habit, I still do this, but there is now a curiosity for the strumming of vintage rock.
In addition to this, I now find I want to swim in the restless ocean of classical music and be carried to the shore on the lonely vessel of jazz.
In some ways, the pandemic has been a crucible for the industry. Those who are talentless can no longer rely on previous gimmicks to captivate their audiences. In this time of emptiness, who would want music that is itself hollow?
In a different light, musicians who have long been masters of their craft continue to remind us of their gift. They are like skilful chemists who bring together angelic voices, colourful instrumentals and poetry.
The best music tells a story. At times, there are tales of victory in battles fought. At other times, there are tales of romance in a lively city.
All of this pumping through my cheap headphones is a sound that is as deep as a water well, as luxurious as gold, and simply beautiful.
Many of us are trying to remember life before the chaos of the virus. We want to forget the ugliness that existed and go back to the beauty that it was.
But I implore thee, dear reader, to ponder the beauty that is before us now and is to come.
How can we live without it? Where can we hope to find it? Perhaps search amidst the light in the trees or in the humming of Nina Simone.
And I hope in this time that you may find all things bright and beautiful.
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