Last Sunday, I was so blessed to attend the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Beethoven’s Ninth. It was amazing. Also? Long. Usually I get lost in the music but for some reason I found myself really thinking about the lyrics of the fourth movement. The real lyrics, translated of course, which have absolutely nothing to do with the “Joyful, joyful, we adore thee!” stuff we sing at church or when watching Sister Act.

Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter fire imbibed,
Heavenly, thy sanctuary.

Thy magic reunites those
Whom stern custom has parted;
All men will become brothers
Under thy gentle wing…

All the world’s creatures
Draw joy from nature’s breast;
Both the good and the evil
Follow her rose-strewn path.

You might notice I write a lot about things like this—going to the opera, going to a musical, going to a play, a symphony, a ballet. It’s just who we are. I’m not crafty. I don’t enjoy cooking and I’m kind of a crappy homemaker. But I can spin a story like nobody’s business and the only thing I like better than telling a tale is going to a theater and having someone tell me one, be it in story, song, or dance. That doesn’t always translate well in a Pinterest-driven blogosphere, but it’s who we are as a family, and I love it.

I get a lot of joy from watching a performance. I’ve tried to explain it to my husband before, but somehow always miss the mark. I’ll try to explain it to you. There’s something holy to me about the performing arts. If indeed we are made in God’s image—and of course I believe we are—then one aspect we must share with him is that of creativity. God is a creative and creating God. We are made to be creative and creating people. To me, even “bad” art reflects God’s glory, because the artists are striving to create something new where before there was nothing. And even the audience gets to take part in this amazing act of creation, for what would the arts be without an audience?

There’s this huge part of my life that I haven’t been writing about. In truth, I’ve wondered how to write about it. It’s easy to write a tutorial or post pictures. Well, easy for other people, not for me. But it’s a lot harder to share the experience of an opera or ballet. But I’m going to try. It’s important to me and it’s a big part I’ve been hiding under a bushel. And I really want to do some intentional thinking about how it relates to a Christian life, a Waldorf-inspired life, a large family life, a homeschooling life, etc. I’ve been inspired especially by Kara over at Rockin’ Granola and her attempts to blog more about what’s important to her. Hopefully I can pass the spark on and inspire someone else to write more about the important things in her life.

Be embraced, Millions!
This kiss for all the world!
Brothers!, above the starry canopy
A loving father must dwell.

Can you sense the Creator, world?
Seek him above the starry canopy.
Above the stars He must dwell


  1. //

    We have gone to a lot more live performances this year as a family. I have to admit, this is a stretch for me, as I am a big homebody. So personally, I would love you to blog more about this and how it relates to a waldorf homeschooling life.

    On a side note, have you ever done Eurythmy? I’ve only done it a few times, but each time was an artful, religious experience of community that I have never felt anywhere else. It was how people talk about liturgical dance – which I have never done – but it was an active, holy form of worship.

    And just as a vote of confidence: blog about what you love! Life is too short to waste time writing about things that don’t give you joy. Can’t wait to see what comes next!


  2. //

    I know what you mean, I understand. Yesterday at a seminar class approach to waldorf pedagogy came a Person skilled in music, and only with some exercises melody, Harmony, I ended up crying with excitement. There’s a scene in the movie, Pretty Woman, in which the girl in the movie goes to the theater to see an opera with the client, and when it ends, she expressed what she felt saying that taste almost peed in panties, and she was saying while crying. It is a feeling of ecstasy. The Bible speaks of angels playing and singing in choir, and I imagine it must be that the music is the only thing that produces an ecstasy like a hug from God.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

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