"...our anxiety is less the mind shielding itself from death than the spirit's need to be. It is as if each of us were always hearing some strange, complicated music in the background of our lives, music that, so long as it remains in the background, is not simply distracting but manifestly unpleasant, because it demands the attention we are giving to other things. It is not hard to hear this music, but it is very difficult to hear it as music."
Christian Wiman My Bright Abyss
I am never sure I understand exactly what Wiman is talking about, but what I do get is rich and feeds me for a long time. That may be why it's taking me months to read this book. Every phrase, every sentence makes me stop, read it again, and then ponder it. Very rich and very good!
This particular quotation struck a chord (excuse the pun) with me when he talks about all the things that clutter up life, preventing us from hearing that "strange, complicated music." Returning from Nicaragua, most of our team have said that we return with many questions. What we saw and experienced is like a strange and complicated symphony--full of lovely melodies and disturbing discords.
Now we are back to work, to school, to the regular patterns of our life--patterns that can seem to drown out that other music. But not quite. The roosters are still crowing in Las Mercedes. The school children are still shuffling into their seats at NITCA. The iron gates are still clanking closed at Hansae,
And we are here in the last days of winter, looking forward to spring, but the strange music of Nicaragua still rings in our ears. Let us hope that we keep hearing those notes of beauty and oppression and that someday we hear more clearly the healing harmonies.