By Jane Tawel
June 17, 2019
It is the second time I have been privileged to hear Ludovico Einaudi in concert. Both times, the tickets were a gift to Raoul and me from our daughter, Verity. Both times, rather early in the concert, during the first piece, all in a moment, like being immersed in a quite spontaneous, warm, fragrant bath, I realized in a complete seamless, piece of understanding, that there is a God. As I sit in my home this morning, my inability to find words is, in actuality the only way, this morning as the newspapers fly onto the neighborhood yards, and the alarm clocks go off throughout my house—my inability to write how that one moment of God-ness felt, is how this morning I am able to convince myself, that it must be truth. It is perhaps different for different people but for me, the realization that there must truly be That Being that is Other than myself, can not be a doctrinal assent of the mind nor a feeling in my heart that I am loved or worthy. No, it is the opposite of all the things I teach myself or think. It is the opposite of feeling that somehow I am something at all important or that matters. God has been made so small, so common, so pathetically understandable, and so all about us; and I have found myself fleeing that simplistic God that is being used, not worshiped.
Ah, but then like an unexpected turn in the road and the sight of something so beyond me, showing up like a miracle, like an ocean must have appeared to an early woman or man. God is mostly absent here now, until He isn’t. There is a Some-one Who Is, when one hears a creator like Einaudi; when one watches music immerge from the musicians on stage who have nothing more than large and small boxes of wood with strings strung from end to end; when one sits in a cathedral, like UCLA Royce Hall or Walt Disney Concert Hall, amidst the realized imaginings of architects like James and David Allison or Frank Gehry; when one rubs shoulders with a child who somehow has been created in the image of a god and who loves you enough to spend hard earned cash on you and children who choose to spend the precious time of their youth with old, worn out you—when all of that comes together so that you can hear in person an artist—no artist is too humanistic—a god– like Ludovico Einaudi, then, somehow in the depths of what we might call one’s soul, there is an understanding of “More”. There must be a More.
As I grow older, I know less about God than ever. I see through with no small amount of pain, the selfish, misguided religions that so many want to give Someone credit for and I mourn the loss of God in my own country as people co-opt religion for their own greedy, humanistic needs and desires. And then I hear a human being create the music that Ludovico and his awe-inspiring, supporting musicians create, and I realize that though most of us are going to return to the dusty dust that we belong to, and rightly so; there are human beings who must surely be a part of Something, Someone who is “More”. There must be a Being who also attended the concert with me last night, that thinks to Herself, “Yes, this. This is worthy. This is holy. This is what I had in mind when I created these beings called humans. This is what will last for Eternity. This I will not discard. This is worth keeping.”
And I pray, “Lord, Father-Mother of this planet of beauty and sensual delights. Forgive our destruction and careless uncaring. Please save our planet. Please save the glaciers and mountains; the tigers and sea lions; the dandelions and lilacs and bees; the wheat fields and olive trees; the gurgling streams and humming doves and ticking crickets. Please save the makers of music, the designers of temples; the painters of starry nights and last suppers. And please, dear One Who Must Be Real, please save some of us to sit in the audience. Please let me be an appreciative, humble audience for the gods and for You, The God.”
Sitting in a dark theatre. Hearing this: