A Burst of Yellow

Four days with old friends on the coast of Maine is tonic for the weary soul.

sometimes I feel all blue
sad sorry blue
all down in minor key
a rhapsody in blue.

Purple yellow Iris

Purple-Yellow Iris

sometimes when blue
begins to play in me
its melody the minor
turns to major key –

blue bursts into purple
and, leaping into joy,
a burst of sun-burst yellow
pushes the blues away

and I feel un-blued
almost whole, more up,
a purple-yellow rhapsody,
an off-beat Ode to Joy.

The days with Ted Campbell, McGaw Professor (Emeritus) of Old Testament at our alma mater, became a burst of yellow joy for us all. We awarded Ted an honorary dogtorate and made him an honorary member of the Dogs with a Goofy yellow hat.


Goofy hat

Feeling blue

The blues struck this week. A sense of longing. You might even say a kind of fainting.

Psalm 84 leaped up for attention, quite by accident. It’s a psalm of enormous contrasts, almost bi-polar in its highs and lows.  Joy and longing sit right beside each other like first-born and second-born twins. No sooner is Praise born (“How lovely is Thy dwelling place!”) than faith’s twin, Longing, is born – the longing, the sense of estrangement that yearns to be united with the lovely dwelling place: “My soul longs, yea, faints for the courts of the LORD….”  It is this Psalm that inspired Johannes Brahms’ Requiem, sung here by a combined choir in a lovely place in Atlanta, Georgia. Bring the blues to the music of the Psalm and see what happens.