Saturday, October 18, 2014

I'm in love with Britten...

I dragged myself out of bed at 3:00 PM, discouraged by the rain that has been coming down steadily upon my airing porch ever since last night.  Rain that was not supposed to overwhelm my sealing job.  I dragged myself out of bed because tonight was the second performance of the symphony's Masterworks Series.  I dragged myself out of bed and ate pulled pork tacos for a bit of a pick me up.

My realtor texted to ask me if I was going to the performance—well, of course!—and offered to drive me because she and her husband decided to go.  I offered a freezer meal, as compensation for the chauffeuring, so they got to try the Roasted Rutabaga and Parsnips Beer Cheese Soup.  Her ride turned out to be a good thing, because the free valet parking at the other venue the symphony uses was not actually there.  This is the second time out of just a few IPFW performances that the company providing the service simply did not show up.  SIGH.

That got me to thinking:  What is the difference between thinking and believing?  Do I believe that the last-minute offer to go to the performance was God's provision for my needs?  I don't know.  But I do think that ... that was my first thought when I learned that the valet parking was not there.  I honestly do not believe that I could park in the garage, walk to the venue, sit through the performance (such pain in doing that), and then walk back to my car.  I very likely would have left without seeing the performance.  Maybe.  For I don't know what I would do if I only made it partway back to my car.  Who would I call for help?  No one would come, for there is no one here to come to the rescue.

What does it mean to believe?  I have been struggling with that and have received no real answer.  Is theological belief different from non-theological belief?  I mean, is believing in God really believing in a theological theory?  That doesn't seem like it would be right, because the Gospel is certitude and theories are not certitude, even if we treat them that way.

Theory is such a funny word.  I mean, we posit a theory and try to prove it.  Proven theories can be disproved.  I am not a scientist, but I know that is a true statement.  Science and learning are constantly growing and changing, evolving if you will.  Yet some theories, such as Einstein's theory of general relativity, have provided the foundation for science.  E=MC2 is a certitude in science that is based on a theory.  Maybe, though, E does not actually equal MC2.

Anyway, the way I think is that the Christian Book of Concord is the truth (and the Truth), is the pure doctrine.  And anything else is errant, the proverbial and yet very literal "mission creep."  Actually, I believe it would be the original "mission creep."  How would it change our thoughts, though, to think of it as errant theory rather that errant theology, though?

If to believe in theology is different to believe in anything else, why isn't there a different, more definitive word?  To put it another way, when I despair of my inability to trust due to my childhood experiences (and those that followed), I am told that trust in God is different than psychological trust. Only, as with belief, no one can explain to me that difference.

Do I believe in God's provision?  I do not think so.  I do not depend on it or think that He is going to rescue me.  But I do believe (and that is a deliberate use of the word) that everything good is from God, because that is what the Word of God says.  And the Word of God is true.  An unexpected ride when the parking service I was depending on was not available is something good.  So it is from God.  Tonight's ride was, therefore, God's provision.  I do think that.  I do not think I believe it.  The difference distresses me.  Perhaps I should stop typing now.  SIGH.

Tonight's feature piece was John Sibelius' Symphony No. 1.  That it was his first symphony is remarkable.  I did not dislike it, for all his Finnish-ness.  In fact, I thought I was listening to what it would be like to watch the fiords over a long time, the cycles of snowfall and avalanches and such.  He is a fan of strings and horns, but he is a lover of tympani.  The tympanist must have lost at least 10 pounds just working his way through that composition.

However, the first piece of the evening, Benjamin Britten's Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, was truly spectacular.  I would ever so much adore having an MP3 file of the performance.  I felt like I was literally listening to dawn, moonlight, a Sunday, and a storm by the sea.  It was an exquisite and extraordinary experience.

The second piece of the first half of the performance was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante.  It is a double concerto for the violin and the viola.  I found it interesting that the two musicians who were with me could not stand the violist's performance, because he was so ... exuberant.  The violinist's play and demeanor was restrained and ... professional.  I did not mind that the violist was practically prancing about as he played, but even my very musically untutored ear could tell that he was playing over his partner, rather than with him.  As for the music ... it was neither bad nor great.  I did find myself missing the woodwinds and the horns.  Before the piece was started, it seemed a third of the orchestra left the stage.  Strings galore remained.

The bottom line?  I'm in love with Britten.  Hanson need not worry.  I'm in love with Britten, too.  For me, the rest of the evening was all downhill, was all overshadowed by my overwhelming desire to stand up on my chair and beg the orchestra to repeat the first piece.  I wonder what would have happened had I given in to that impulse????

Sitting in a chair is always painful for me, but tonight it was much, much, much worse.  Probably because of yesterday's labor ... and the labor of those darned front steps.  I moaned and groaned my way out of my chair to the bathroom and back during the intermission and moaned and groaned my way out of my chair and down to the bench downstairs whilst waiting for Leslie's husband to fetch the car.  I moaned and groaned my way from the bench and down into the very low seat of her car.  And I moaned and groaned my way from the car to the house.

The significant front moving through probably has a lot to do with the level of pain in my body.  But the steps are unfinished not because I need more goop, but because I cannot bear the thought of working on them anymore.  And it did take me three hours of scooting across the airing porch to seal it.

I was heartened to hear Leslie say how much easier it was to go up and down my front steps.  Although the paint is not yet all gone, your feet primarily contact the rough concrete wherever you place them going up or down.  The slippage factor has probably been decreased by about 90%.  They are rather wretched looking, with cracked paint here and there.  The staining from the original red paint is fine with me.  But they need more work.  My one hope is that if I fetch the last can and spread the goop thickly, I think that whatever is left after my scraping could be taken care of by Firewood Man's pressure washer.  By that I mean, I think that I no longer need to try and use the metal brush to get at the paint flakes that are loosened, but will not come off with my scraper.

I truly do despair of that project.  Of finishing it.  But I am heartened that the reason for doing so, the safety factor, has essentially been accomplished.

Did I mention, however, that I forgot that I was on a mission to establish proper smoke alarm coverage in my home?  When Electrician Man was here working, I very excitedly pointed out to him that I had finally hung up my fire extinguisher and was pointing out all the new smoke alarm.  As Ben was changing the filter, I told him to look at the one at the top of the basement steps.  Then I looked.  That one is not there yet.  SIGH.

Howard and, now, Benjamin.
My musical mates.
Wasn't there another awesome musical mate last spring???

1 comment:

Mary Jack said...

My dear, I am thankful you were able to go and enjoy your concert!

And, for your pondering, I do not see a big distinction between thinking and believing. But recognizing truth in what God reveals in His Word is so unnatural and against our expectations that all the related thoughts and beliefs can only come from God. So perhaps my question form of your question (in Mary speak) is what is divine thought like and what are my thoughts like? Both thoughts, both affecting me, yet not both felt all the time or understood.

I send my affection and support to you!