Monday, November 18, 2013

In Duet with God - Consolation

Saints, mystics, and prophets from all times and traditions have been aware of something beyond themselves.  By whatever name they’ve called it, these remarkable women and men have all been “in duet” with that presence, in duet with God.

Contemplations--like the one below--are inspired by the words of great texts and teachers. In my performances, as I play the piano for the audience, I'll read the free-form poems I create around their words.

These poems highlight themes that endure in human experience: hope, reassurance, solitude, companionship. This one is about Consolation. It begins with a quote from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, whom I had the privilege of interviewing in 2004 - the video of that interview is at the bottom of this post. 


"God is there in the fiery furnace with us." 
Archbishop Tutu

Suffering and violence have been with us
From time immemorial.
As people have searched for relief,
Some have believed that
God has abandoned them.
“Why hast thou forgotten me,”
They’ve cried.

In desperation, one saint even implored,
“God, how is it possible the horrors I have seen?
All the atrocities you allow man to commit when you—God—
Are ever standing so near and could help us?”

Now, imagine God as he
Stands gazing down at us.
Imagine what he must have felt like,
Watching the Holocaust, watching Hiroshima and Nagasaki, watching Darfur?

God says,
“I give you the space to be you and that space enables you to make choices.
And I cannot do anything
When you make the wrong choices....

I cannot bear to confine a wing,
And not let it learn from the course it chooses.

And God says,
“I do hear you when you plead,
‘Lord, make haste to help me!’
What happens in truth, is that
Suffering brings you closer to me.

“And believe me,” says God,
“Your suffering will help you,
 It will help you
Be in duet with me.                                                                          
“And when you are in duet with me,
You’ll see that,
While all the world is full of suffering,
It is also full of the overcoming of suffering.

“So when you suffer, remember
That I love you with an everlasting love;
And when you are with me,
When you are in duet with me, if you

Persevere courageously, you rejoin me 
Across evil, deeper down than evil,
Deeper down than suffering and pain.
You allow me to achieve
A mysterious reversal of evil into good. 

“Then,” God concludes,
The earth will be alight with love as
You become a dwelling place of the divine.”

Sources for text in italics: Psalm 40:13, Psalm 42:9, St. Catherine, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Neem Karoli Baba, Helen Keller, The Kabbalah, Jeremiah 31: 3, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

(c)2014 Jessica Roemischer All Rights Reserved - In Duet with God(R)

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