Sunday, December 16, 2012

Best moment this week past

I have two. I can't choose...

I was driving home along a winding coastal road on Monday night. It was nine oclock, but dusk has barely begun. (That's how it is in Dunedin's December.) I noticed a largish bird on the road, about the size of a shag. Instead of taking flight, as I'd expected, it turned directly towards me with its feet planted, raised its head and chest and flapped its wings back and forth at my oncoming vehicle. It was an astonishing and crazy confrontation.  Car versus bird. I planted my foot on the brake, drew breath, and then saw a small baby, all fluff, scuttling past between us. Saved.

The local city choir generously opened its ranks to all-comers for a performance of the Messiah last week. I had attended three practices prior to the grand sing, bumbling my way through complex and unfamiliar sheets of scored music. Some of the established choir faced us at the performance, while we, the add-ons, sat in the front forward-facing seats, with other choir members scattered among us for vocal support. Delightfully in the thick of it, I was able to watch close up as some of older men in the choir seats, when not called on to sing, surrendered themselves to the music. Their eyes were closed, and they appeared to be deeply transported. The music was glorious, but this too was a glimpse into something sublime.