13 April 2014

On the Unaccountable Sadness of Orchestral Maneuvers in the Morning (Sunday Meditation #39)

I find sometimes that a familiar song played solely on violins and such often leaves me with a desire to weep. A curious phenomenon that is not conducive to the conduct of business in the public sphere. While not given to frequent weeping, I am not a man that is afraid to let it vent if circumstances dictate.

Still, it is troublesome. Not the sort of thing that should occur on an otherwise ordinary Thursday morning. Sweeping the floor, tending the shop: the retail equivalent of the Buddhist practice to chop wood, carry water. Music played and the tune was familiar, although I could not recall its name. An instrumental version heavy on violins and cellos. I paused while leaning on the broom. A lump formed in my throat. There called a low voice in my head, asking why this must be so.

I had no answer to this homesickness. Perhaps it is the vestige of the little boy in me, or the mercurial passions of the Irish poet I hope lives on my heart. Maybe there is no difference between the two. All I know is that in chords I cannot name I felt a pull between those things I left behind and those things towards which I travel.

The song ended. I swept the floor, greeted the customers. The lump I swallowed along with the tears that never reached my eyes. There was new music in my head, it was good, I kept moving towards the light.


  1. There is something hauntingly beautiful about instrumental songs heavy on violins and cellos - I would like to think while potentially tear-inducing, that pull you felt was a good thing, and the tears, while a tad on the 'homesickness' side, were potential tears of joy. Of course I happen to be the eternal optimist, so that's how I would view it. ;)

  2. For me it's a tenor sax...those gut-wrenching, evocative notes of longing, yearning.

    1. Always a surprise when that happens. Needful, bittersweet.

  3. I am right there beside you, weeping away !
    Try to listen to Barbers Adagio for Strings without weeping .. betcha can't :)


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...