Crabby and grouchy, Shipen and David Lynch got into a rather innocuous argument over the icon and the issue of devotion (or lack of it) and this led to withdrawal, then to mistrust and finally to resentment. There was only time for a brief discussion where they reached a stalemate before tuned up and went on. Shipen gave a long history of the group as usual and then we played the concert: Eastern Sky, Birth, Sanctus, Taka, Baptism, 10 days, 104 Broadway Bus, Koto, Fervently, raga, Wander trilogy, 7 minute intermission, Rothko, How Long, Kyrie, Mary’s Song, Captain, Beard, Lamb of God, Comfortless, Chant, Bells, Glory Be to Jesus, ending with the Blessing (ringing) of Bells. I recognized many familiar faces and we had a good rapport with the audience. Afterwards we drove back to Shipen's family cottage for a delicious dinner that his mother had cooked. I wondered if maybe Shipen learned his culinary skills from his mom?
On Saturday we tried to call Madeline L’Engle but couldn’t reach her. When we set off for our next concert the bus got stuck in two feet of mud, so we had to use other vehicles to move the instruments to Trinity Episcopal Church. We managed to squeeze into a tight corner up by the altar. We ate lunch with Father Sidney Breeze and his wife working out details for the next day’s service and concert. Afterwards, Shipen and Steve extricated the bus and drove it, once again, to a local garage in town. Dinner with the Lebzelters was excellent as always and we all headed off to bed exhausted. An unresolved heaviness hung over the group from David and Shipen’s previous argument.
On Easter Sunday we participated in a glorious service at Trinity Episcopal. It began with the faint tinkling sound of bells, which we rang quietly at the very back of the church. Then suddenly the organist burst into the swelling notes of Jesus Chris is Risen Today, Alleluia and the doors were thrown open. In marched a procession led by Father Breeze in beautiful Easter vestments, followed by the choir, and then us in our white robes ringing Sanctus bells during the chorus. It was anything but a traditional sleepy service. We played at different points during the service, and then recessed playing Sanctus bells once again, “He is risen indeed! Alleluia!”
Afterwards, we returned to the Lebzelter cottage and met at length to work through our differences. I kept thinking about the first disciples, huddled together frightened and in disagreement, unaware Jesus was alive. Finally, unable to come to agreement, prayer paved the way to reconciliation. Shipen’s mother Dorothy had again prepared a glorious feast for dinner, which was followed by a quiet evening of sharing and reflection with guests and friends.
On Monday we finally reached Madeleine L’Engle and told her of our recent disagreements, strained relationships and tension. Her advice was to go into silence and not try to wrestle with any more problems. So during lunch there was a short reading from the Spirit of Poverty followed by four hours of solitude and silence so each of us could listen to our own heart. Somehow this actually helped! When Shipen and David finally did talk together they were able to find accord and reach a level of trust again. At dinner, in our typically overly introspective way, we talked about how we each experienced the period of silence.
The next day we headed off to my parent’s home in West Bloomfield where we would stay for the next three days. We arrived just after lunch and were greeted by my three longhaired brothers, my extremely boisterous sister, my Mom, Dad and my quiet, senile Granny. That afternoon, we got out our instruments and had a delightfully fun jam session in the family music room with my brother Ben on sitar, brother Chris on guitar, my Dad on piano or banjo, and my sister Heidi and David Karasek on violins. David Lynch and Chris shared guitar techniques and the finer points of Martin guitars while Shipen and Ben talked about sitars and eastern music. In the evening, we performed at Church of Our Savior in Bloomfield Hills, which had been my home church when I was in ninth and tenth grade. I was delighted to be playing for my family, friends and neighbors who came to hear us.
Performing at Church of our Savior, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, recently gave an unusual
musical presentation during their visit to Holy Cross Monastery in West Park.