Monday, November 15, 2010

Six Minutes of Awesome

Can an atheist feel awe, you ask? Sure! 

I had an interesting conversation recently. A good friend expressed her displeasure at the choice of religious music on the bill at our school's winter choral concert. She's a religious skeptic, though perhaps not an atheist. Her point was that a public school concert should not be so heavily heavenly. 

Me? I have absolutely no problem with it. None whatsoever. I have openly wept at this concert (my kids won't sit with me any more). "Stirring," "inspiring" and "moving" don't capture the impact on me of these young voices harmonizing in such a solemn manner. 

Hey, I'll take beauty where I can find it. I think it's safe to say that all great works of art have been created from inspiration. In recorded history, in the Western world (familiar to me), a good chunk of that art was created as a tribute to the Judeo-Christian god. I've seen this:

and this:

--and been moved by their magnificence. We don't have to mourn Pharoah Khufu to appreciate the stark beauty in this feat of human effort, right?

So today I was treated to another exalting experience. Background: I LOVE the idea of flash mobs. One of my friends who knows this about me was kind enough to share this link today. In a recent "Random Act of Culture," 650 choristers gave Christmas shoppers a surprise treat when they performed the Hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah at the downtown Philadelphia Macy's. Please watch the video (there, I linked it again); it will bring you six minutes of awesome today. 

And then indulge my cynicism: is that majestic department store (complete with THE WORLD'S LARGEST operational pipe organ) a cathedral of capitalism? 

1 comment:

  1. I was hoping you would find a way to share that video!! I knew you would love it as much as i did!