I recently read an interesting book The Elegance of a Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. I loved this one piece (see below) about how we feel in the presence of beautiful singing. Every couple of weeks my children, who inherited their voices from their dad (I cannot sing to save my life and even lip sync happy birthday it is so bad), provide me with the most amazing gift– either one of them singing in a choir. Or singing a solo- but that is an experience beyond words and quite frankly recollection as I float above my own body with the sheer delight. Sounds flakey but I swear it to be true. You know what it is to see someone you love do what they love. It fills you with joy.
“Every time, it’s a miracle. Here are all these people, full of heartache or hatred or desire, and we all have our troubles and the school year is filled with vulgarity and triviality and consequence and there are all these teachers and kids of every shape and size, and there’s this life we’re struggling through full of shouting and tears and laughter and fights and break ups and dashed hopes and unexpected luck-it all disappears, just like that when the choir begins to sing. Everyday life vanishes into song, you are suddenly overcome with a feeling of brotherhood, of deep solidarity, even love, and it diffuses the ugliness of everyday life into a spirit of perfect communion. Even the singers faces are transformed. I see human beings, surrendering to music.
Every time, it’s the same thing, I feel like crying, my throat goes all tight and I do the best I can to control myself but sometimes it gets close: I can hardly keep myself from sobbing. So when they sing a canon I look down at the ground because it’s just too much emotion at once; its too beautiful, and everyone singing together, this marvellous sharing. I am no longer myself, I am just one part of the sublime whole, to which others also belong, and I always wonder at such moments why this cannot be the rule of everyday life, instead of being an exceptional moment during a choir. “
from The Elegance of a Hedgehog