Thought for the Day 5
‘Comes easily under the hand’
The glorious release of the imagination and sound flowed from the great organ in York Minster as Hugh Stalker (my friend and organist for 25 years at Kirkby Lonsdale), played.
Hugh used to tell of music that came ‘easily under the hand’. A phrase I still try to understand but I think I felt it. The composer and the musician and the instrument, are drawn into each other’s presence and a living work is expressed in a unique way. That which was created long ago is brought to life. To amaze and refresh us anew.
‘The essence of Chicory’ accompanied by a wisp of aromatic steam, an appreciative soldier in full dress being served his coffee under a hot sun in an exotic and far away world. The imagination of the child was fired and focused. The words were a mystery but a tantalising one. The young child repeated the words, ‘the essence of chicory’, adding to his growing vocabulary.
Later in life these words returned just as inspiring and stimulating as the first time he had painstakingly spelt them out on the Camp Coffee bottle at the breakfast table. The idea of the ‘essence’ invites the imagination into the heart of the matter. Especially of matters meaningful and stirring, deep moments and big words: love, hope faith, forgiveness.
Guided by this search tool (in modern words) our view of life is being challenged.
The essentials of life are actively being reshaped and redefined. Worth and value will repay a second look. The essence of painting and melody. The wonder of the blackbird’s song or the unerring navigation of the swift and swallow. Life allowed in all its variety can come just as easily under our hand if we gently recapture the innocence and freshness of our earthly and heavenly heritage and treat it with care.
What we pray and hope will emerge is a kinder place with us all being more grateful and making place for one another. Like the wisp of the aromatic steam lifting from the soldier’s coffee cup and similar to Hugh and his artful mastership of the Great Organ, our lives are urgent in their need to respond to the inspiration of life and love, we cherish and grow with curiosity and creativity. Each of us in our unique fashion.
Graham W Bettridge
Hon Chaplain Parcevall Hall