Posted on November 15, 2010 by Michael
An unexpected death recently took a valued member of MOS. John Moss had sung in our Bass II section since 2005, and his warm personality, gentle spirit and fine voice will be sorely missed by all of us. Still, I am thankful for the years he was a part of our collective song. I am reminded that each singer adds his or her personal contribution to a chorus, and we are somehow diminished when that voice is absent. In John’s memory, I would like to share a poem I wrote several years ago about how we each can let our own light shine.
Let It Shine
“This little light of mine -
I’m gonna let it shine.”
These simple words learned years ago
live in my heart today.
May they be seen in what I do
and heard in what I say.
The beauty and humility
expressed in that brief phrase
remind me even one lone soul
can brighten life’s dark haze.
And though there may be some who doubt
and question what I say,
I know that even my small flame
may light another’s way.
So each day I will let it shine -
this little, steady, light of mine -
and pray someone may catch its ray
to pass it on another day.
Filed under: Choral experiences, Choral rehearsal, Poetry | Tagged: John Moss, MOS, Poetry | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 14, 2009 by Michael
I recently joined Facebook and have especially enjoyed reading the comments that appear to express some of the “inner thoughts” of the contributors. This seemed especially apparent to me around Easter. Granted, many of my “Facebook friends” are involved in choral/church music, and therefore it might be expected that Easter would be on their minds, but I was still pleasantly surprised to see how many folks commented on the special quality of Easter and the feelings it evoked in them. Easter always turns my thoughts to rebirth and new beginnings. In the midst of all the poignant and glorious music of the season I am reminded that each day is a new day possessing myriad possibilities.
While I promise not to make this a “poetry blog,” I would like to share another of my poems with you. Although this makes two in a row, I assure you it won’t become a habit! I wrote this one thinking of the opportunities presented with each new day and I “hear” it as a hymn sung to the tune of THE ASH GROVE.
O Joy of the Dawning
1. O Joy of the Dawning – God’s Spirit is calling
to all who will worship and greet the new day.
A day full of promise as God dwells within us;
with God’s help we go forth to work and to play.
We go forth in joy; yet in clear understanding
that this joy is absent in some we will meet.
The joy that exists at the core of our being
may still not be known by the strangers we greet.
2. So what can we do for the strangers in darkness;
the women and men who have yet to see light?
May our lives exhibit the truth of your being;
the truth then perceived will provide them with sight.
Lord, help us to share it – this joy of your presence.
For only in giving will we then receive
the Joy of the Dawning – with your spirit calling
is given to each who will choose to believe.
Filed under: Choral experiences | Tagged: Easter, Facebook, Michael O'Neal, Poetry, THE ASH GROVE | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 5, 2009 by Michael
Believe it or not, my blog entry today is not about choral music. While it may surprise some of you, I do actually have thoughts in my head other than singing! In these days of economic concern I have been especially interested in whether our society might begin to reevaluate what really “matters” in life. I’ve been encouraged by some signs that this may be taking place, but it seems we are still a people consumed with the acquisition of “things” and the importance of “status.” I recently came across a poem I wrote over twenty years ago. It still expresses essentially what I believe.
The Illusion of Perfection
The Illusion of Perfection
Lures seductively each day,
As it’s viewed upon our TV screens
And through the words they say.
We are told that thin is beautiful,
And that teeth are pearly white,
That expensive homes and fancy cars
Are the choices that are right.
And slowly, but increasingly
We see success as all of these,
And we somehow think fulfillment
Is a perfect life of ease.
Yet the real perfection we should seek
Isn’t found in outward signs.
Though the world may tell us different
The search begins within our minds.
We must learn to tell the difference
In what is real and what is not.
We must realize a person’s worth
Isn’t tied to what he’s got.
Then we’ll know that true perfection
Is impossible to find.
It exists not on this earthly plane,
But only in God’s mind.
Let us strive to know that perfect mind
And live the way we should,
So the Illusion of Perfection
Will be finally understood.
Filed under: Poetry | Tagged: Michael O'Neal, perfection, Poetry | 7 Comments »