Thursday, August 19, 2010

Finding Your Spirituality

I grew up on a ranch in Idaho, like three generations before me but my Grandpa took me to New York City and the Opera every Saturday afternoon. I realize now, those matinees via radio grounded me in my own spirituality far more than any scripture or hymn or sermon or place of worship.00254_p_10aeuyf6sw0385_b

I was in my mid 20s when it dawned on me that places of worship actually distract me from my spirituality. So I turned back to Opera. There has always been something in an Aria like Puccini’s soaring Nessun Dorma (Turandot, his last) that gets right to my core (click to to see if it is the same for you.)

And for decades now, every Sunday morning possible, probably well over 1,000 now, I turn up the volume and listen to five favorite Opera Arias to feed my spirituality and my faith. They strike deeply into my soul and renew me and literally bring me a tearful sense of perspective.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really into full Operas or the even the modern equivalent, Broadway Musicals. Just Arias and just Sunday mornings. The rest of the week I pretty much listen to country or country folk or country rock or blues or Americana.

Ernest “Mel” Bowman gave me a lot of gifts, as you can imagine a grandpa might, being the only son of a rancher who was also an only son, and in that world, where things patriarchal are a little over the top, you know I was a most “Fortunate Son.”

But maybe his greatest gift was sharing the weekly Texaco-Metropolitan Opera broadcasts and quietly teaching me there is more than one place you can worship.

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