Sunday, March 31, 2013

Passion and Religion

I don’t subscribe to a certain religion, but as a harpist, I often play for several types of churches, especially around Christmas and Easter. 

I’m a part of the sea of white faces, or the only pale face in a darker-skinned crowd. I play music as it exists on the page, or improvise according to what moves me and others, responding musically in the moment, watching and listening.

These are emotionally charged events as those experiencing the service grapple with meaning and metaphor and guilt. 

That last part isn’t a judgement: Guilt is just... there.

(It’s more painful to deny this simple truth than to accept it).

There is push-pull tension between and around the great need to impart life-changing knowledge and wisdom from the microphoned front, and the deep desire to internalize and truly feel the message from the soft seat in one of multiple rows. 

Behind all of it is the need to share something universal, something that unifies us when we spend a good portion of the rest of our lives investigating and often drowning in divisions.

Often in these services, in varying degrees, is passion. Oh yes, if I’m not relating to the message and how it’s delivered, I can certainly relate to passion. It sets me on fire, ignites embers in my core. 

Watching others be so present and aligned that passion takes over and shines through loud and clear moves even the most stone-set. This taps deep into the universal for me. It compels me to BE from that space, too.

And while at this present moment I don’t have a specific religious conviction that anchors me as I’m wildly pulled by internal or external sources hither and yon, I know this:  Music, movement and nature are my religion. 

They have been and will always be, in sum or in part, what grounds me and gets me finally feeling after it takes too long to recognize when my ever-spinning mind has numbed me out again. I forget this over and over, which of course means I also remember.

Forget. Remember. Forget. Remember. I’m fairly sure it’s why religious holidays exist in the first place.

The crocus finally blooms and the sky speaks. The pain and tightness in my right hip hints loudly at a deeper truth. Reznor and Karen O’s cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” powers my downtown trip to the church gig.

The sonorous written and musical notes reverberate around the walls surrounding the I-want-to-believers. This is the journey into both the Known and the Unknown -- remind me, but surprise me

Move me. Now.
Fire ignited.

Another imperfect post, accompanied by:
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Trista Hill is a professional harpist and fine artist, creativity coach, educator in the arts, and Board-Certified Music Therapist. What her formal degrees in music and art gave her pale in comparsion to the gifts she's experienced in working with creatives just like you. Visit her website — — for links to her blog, performances, and other fantastical creative offerings. 

1 comment:

  1. Trista! Thank you for sharing your Easter thoughts. I just found your blog via FB. I owe you an e-mail and soon it may actually be written!