A Musical Interlude
A couple weeks ago I was out running in town. It was late, so everything was dark and quiet. I’d gone about five miles when I decided to duck down a side street toward a church I used to go to when I was little. The building was big, dark, and silent in all its Protestant glory, foreboding to the average passerby. I knew the doors would be unlocked though, so I made my way to the front.
There was one lamp shining outside the front door, casting the slightest light through the glass doors. I stopped when I made it, then walking forward, I opened the door and entered the shadows. As I was blindly making my way toward the drinking fountain I passed by the opening to the sanctuary.
I couldn’t see anything so I turned around and took a few steps inside. As I entered, the sanctuary was pitch black except for the faint glow of a street light outside shining its eerie light on the stain glass windows. I crept a few more steps forward down the aisle, kicking a pew. The sound reverated high of the walls. I paused until the silence returned. Putting my hand on the pews, I followed them all the way to the front. Everything was silent… still… the stained-glass Jesus presiding over the utter blackness.
Taking a few more steps I reached out my hand until I felt it. I’d known it was there. Years before there had been many times I’d come to this place at times like these, and all for the very same reason.
The grand piano.
I slide my hand along the side until I came to the front, and then felt along the top until I could switch on the small light. I smiled, took my seat, and placed my hands over the keys.
As the first note broke the silence, it resounded throughout the sanctuary. It hung in the air for a moment and while I soaked it in, I looked at the stained-glass Jesus to see what he thought of my breaking his silence. He didn’t seem to mind. So, I turned back to the keys and…
I played for the silence of the night, the darkness of the sky, the empty pews, and the ominous sancutary. I played with the freedom and pleasure that only a person in solitude can play. I played, and played, and played, until the last chord rested peacefully underneath my finger tips. Closing my eyes, I sat there in the stillness until it had dissolved into the walls of the sanctuary.
When all was silent again, I opened my eyes, clicked off the light, stood up, and quietly made my way out. Before I left the sanctuary though, I looked back at Jesus in the stained glass. He stood there undisturbed, the eerie light still all around him, just as stoically as before, but I imagined that was a musical interlude he enjoyed too.
(I played Liebestraume by Liszt.)