Saturday, March 19, 2011

Abide with Me

Only traditional hymns and classical music played on classical instruments were performed in the rural Mormon church of my childhood. "Special musical numbers" that intersperse a sacrament meeting and give the congregation a break from singing may be sung by the ward choir, a family harmonizing a capella, or a nervous girl accompanied by the piano, a violin, or even a flute. Anything raucous or modern as percussion, guitars, and most music written after the 19th century is still forbidden, as is applause.

One winter Sabbath, old Brother Humphries sat in a chair in front of family-filled pews and slowly opened a battered violin case. He tightened and rosined the bow and bent an ordinary handsaw on his knee.

dusting of rosin
the saw's quivering
Abide with Me

1 comment:

Magyar said...

Cutting songs out of the silence,
a saw crafts the sounds.

__So much more I could say (hear?)here, but it's best to simply add: "a very effective and well posed haibun, Nora!" _m