Back to the drawing board.

It was a mercy the way the conversation went. There are no doors at the back of the church, you see, so the whole bridal party will have to come in through a side door, process to the back of the aisle, turn and process to the front.

When she told me this, I envisioned everyone processing the wrong direction down the aisle, away from the altar, so that they could then do a 180 at the back of the church and go right back up to the front.

And I was horrified. Absolutely horrified.

When we finally got it straightened out (spatial descriptions are difficult over the phone!) I was hugely relieved to discover that the side door is, in fact, in the back. Just not in the center.

There's nothing absurd about it at all. Everybody will process straight from the door to the altar in quite a dignified manner, and it will be lovely. There's nothing the slightest bit unseemly about 90 degree turns. It will work beautifully.

Just not with the music I wrote.

The fourteen beats it necessatates between each bridesmaid will double the length of the piece. That's okay. I think. In theory I should be able to do that... in less than two months. If not, they'll just have to play it twice.

But the whole piece centered around one moment, where the music flutters restlessly to a rest, only to alight once more, skimming along, modulating from scale to scale, faster and faster and faster, until the doors open, and there is Sharon in her pure white gown, on her daddy's arm. Sunlight streams behind her, and the bells begin to peal as she approaches her beloved, in slow, stately, measured steps. The same slow, stately, measured steps as all her bridesmaids, except that now there is twice as much music between them.

That moment isn't going to happen.

It will still be a beautiful wedding. And the processional will still be lovely. The theme is good, I think, and it is a tribute to the deep friendship that we've shared and the journey of her soul. None of that is changed by the shape of the church, even if the unfolding is no longer exquisitely proportioned. Hopefully I will still be able to time it so that the flower girl processes at that little spot where the music gently opens up, sprinkling sweetness.

And people get married in churches shaped like that all the time. I'm sure that there's some way to make musical sense out of it.

I wish I knew what it was.

And I pray I find out in time.

And Sharon, I wasn't going to actually publish this post, but somehow as I bring my thoughts and dreams for this music into the light, the truth of what is infuses them, and I begin to see the possibility of change.

Like in 1 John.

And everything connects back into everything else.

Just like it always has, my dear.


Christa said...

This is beautiful. It's in amazing that you can define spaces, emotions, locations and so many other things with music. I just love that you're composing music for a wedding. What a wonderful thing to attempt to define with music. Especially yours.

You should record it and post in on your blog so we can listen when it's all over!

Elena said...

Thanks! I'll do my best to get it up here when it's all said and done!