Sunday, June 26, 2011

Breath of Life

Arundo donax is listed as a noxious weed in Texas, an exotic plant pest in California, an invasive weed in Hawaii, and as an invasive, exotic pest in Tennessee. Arundo donax, a.k.a., Giant Reed, is also the primary source of clarinet reeds.

My friend Martin Powell is a virtuoso clarinetist and I have been blessed to hear him perform twice in the past week. Both times he played the Adagio Movement from Mozart's Clarinet Concerto. The first time was evening in the Grand Cafe of Heritage International, the second time was morning on Prayer Mountain in Moravian Falls, NC. Whether morning or evening, large group or small, Martin was one with the instrument- the picture of discipline and devotion; public evidence of years spent in solitude. The sound produced by Martin's breath passing over a reed defies my intellect and inspires my imagination. To watch an instrument submit to a musician, as the clarinet does to Martin, confirms for me the power attainable when the created works with the creator. Teresa of Avila puts it thus, "...Martha and Mary walking together." 



View from Prayer Mountain

Genesis 2:7 reads, 'Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.' The word translated 'being' is, in the Hebrew, neh-fesh; literally- 'one who breathes'.

When Martin Powell plays Mozart's Clarinet Concerto all of creation hears the breath of life.

Martin Powell

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