Wednesday, December 10, 2008

your moment(s) of zen.

a lot of people don't know this about me but i am wacky for christmas music.

i love christmas carols like nobody's business. i distinctly remember being 11 or 12 and thinking silver bells was about the best song ever written. i thought it was classy.

and when i would sing the babyboybarians to sleep, if a few rounds of amazing grace didn't work (which it never did with the duke. only an hour and a half of walking and bouncing to bittersweet symphony by the verve would work. and mostly not even then) i would launch into christmas carols.

anyhow, the day after thanksgiving the cheesy radio station around these parts goes all christmas all the time. whoo hoo! and then i'm a goner.

now, i'm not sure why it is, but ave maria has become a "christmas song." maybe it's the whole jesus' (fake) birthday season and all that, who knows.

anyhow, there are a million different renditions and most of them suck, well, not suck. it's a beautiful song, after all. but if you're playing all christmas all the time you gather what you can for variety. even the "poorer" choices.

did you know that ave maria comes from an epic poem? sir walter scott's lady of the lake. i didn't know that, i assumed it came from the hail mary prayer. which some versions do.

there are several versionsof the song, of course, and each one takes liberties with the wording depending on the language, singer, etc. but the original is taken from the poem and the music is schubert.

a few days ago, maybe last week i was driving home from yoga. it was pouring outside and i was pouring inside. absorbed in my thoughts, mostly stressful and what-ifs and not of the positive nature. all of a sudden ave maria came on the radio. a particularly beautiful ave maria. i kinda recognized the voice, i thought.

but there was something in the quality of the music, the depth of the lyrics. i was mesmerized. i was so mesmerized in fact that i had to pull the car over and stop a minute. it was beautiful. and as i listened i was overcome with a sense of peace, a sense of being okay in the world. in this world. in my world.

it wasn't until the song was finished that i realized that i had been crying. there were tears running down my face. but they were tears of comfort, tears of joy.

shit man, music just totally rocks! doesn't it? i mean my god if you could bottle that and sell it it would be illegal! or, i guess, you could just get an ipod. or, uh, play a cd, or turn on the radio.

anyhow, i wondered about the singer and after a bit of research i found the exact version online and i am somewhat amused to report it was celine dion. i know, i know. who knew?

i did a little further research on ave maria and was really fascinated by its origin and the different versions and all the opinions, etc.

so, i would like to present to you a particularly beautiful version of the song. and no! it's not celine dion, though i encourage you to listen to that one because it was beautiful, too.

and if you ever see me type that last sentence again then you'll know i've finally gunned the t-bird over the cliff.

but this ave maria is just gorgeous and it's all in german. there's a video montage accompanying it that could be construed as cheesy and silly, especially so coming from me. but, the music and particularly the singer's voice is not. and all together it's quite beautiful and quite moving.

there are a thousand ways to kiss the ground, rumi said.

and i think, in the grand scheme of things, watching a video of pictures of children in prayer or pulling the car over to cry in the rain while celine dion sings both. fit. right. in.

ave maria.


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