Day Three Durham, NC
When I was growing up, we weren't able to travel much, except to visit the cousins. Usually a 15-20 minute ride playing rock, scissors, paper in the backseat, vying with one another to claim "I see the water tower!" first (I called it the water bottle...seemed right.) My three older brothers and I in the back seat, no seat belts, watching the moon chase us home, pretending to be asleep so dad would carry me up to bed. Maybe that's why when I am able to travel, it seems like such a privilege. I treasure the experience of it. The sounds, smells, visuals...the people. At Duke Chapel, on Thursday afternoons at 5:15, there is a Vespers service every week. You can watch it livestreaming on your computer (4:15 CT). I did that a few weeks ago, to see the Chapel and to hear the Vespers Choir. Two days ago I was able to sit in the pew for this Vespers service, darkened sanctuary, silence. Only the altar area was lit. This experience, just a few people sitting in silence, lights laid low, was a holy experience for me. I sometimes feel that same sense of holiness when I am alone in nature. Maybe it is the silence, the quiet, the reverence. The Vespers Choir (far left picture) rehearsed in the side chapel and then entered from the back of the church singing with candles lit. Their second song had the words Kyrie Eleison, Lord have mercy. Their voices filled that enormous church with sounds so pure, the chords transitioning from dissonance to resolution, with certain chord progressions so beautiful that tears came to my eyes. What is it about certain sounds of the human voice raised in song that touches something deep, deep in our hearts....something so beautiful, that we recognize it as true. Sometimes we need time for silence... so that we can listen.
Robyn Sand Anderson