186. Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. ~Victor Hugo

There is in souls a sympathy with sounds:
And as the mind is pitch’d the ear is pleased
With melting airs, or martial, brisk or grave;
Some chord in unison with what we hear
Is touch’d within us, and the heart replies.
~William Cowper


The November morn was cool and crisp, and the solitary man playing the bag pipes was standing against the backdrop of changing leaves and flowing water.  The mystical sounds of the “pipes” were drifting along on gentle breezes over the whole of a very large park.  It was Veterans Day, and the man may have been playing in remembrance of friends or relatives, but it could have been a salutation to the day’s magnificence as well because his harmonies embodied not only touches of the melancholy but also traces of the celebratory.  As I watched transfixed and mesmerized by the sounds, he played on at first unaware of my presence behind him.  But soon I realized that between the melodies he was slowly turning in a circle and would soon face me and the ones gathering behind me.  It was as if he was wanting to address his elegy and/or hymn of praise to all the earth.  At each of his turns we who were witnessing the spectacle seemingly became aware that something sacrosanct was moving through us, moving through the “piper”, moving through the pipes, moving through the trees, moving through the water.  More than that, one could not help but feel that the sanctity was moving throughout the whole of Creation that was within the sound of his pipes and our vision.  I can’t speak for the other observers, but when the “piper” finished “some chord in unison” with what I’d heard and seen had touched me so deeply that my heart replied with tears of sadness for fallen and wounded patriots everywhere and for the joy I’d felt in the beauty of the “piper’s” music.

**I didn’t attempt to take the bag piper’s photo that day because it somehow seemed like an invasion of his privacy.  I decided the one above would be equally appropriate for this post since my sister took it on a beach at Normandy where so many fell in WW II while in pursuit of freedom’s calling.

My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.  ~Psalm 57:7  ✝

24 thoughts on “186. Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. ~Victor Hugo

  1. Pingback: 186. Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. ~Victor Hugo | Sacred Touches

  2. Music reaches deep into our hearts and minds. What a wonderful experience you had–thank you for sharing it, Natalie. A nice way to honor Veterans with your sister’s picture. Blessings ~ Laura


  3. The other day I read “The mass of people leads a life of quiet desperation” (I think it may have been Thoreau who said it) and I’ve been thinking alot about it recently. I came to the conclusion that if you love gardening, music and books this won’t ever be the case and I’m thankful for that. Have a good day, Natalie


    • It was Thoreau who said those words, and I agree with you. I didn’t begin gardening until late in life, Annette, and it was in my younger years that I faced some pretty desperate moments. Gardening has been an incrediblly healing and hopeful endeavor. I too love music and books so we are both blessed with the magic of the “three.” I pray you have a great day and hope that your book is coming along splendidly well. Blessings, Natalie 🙂


      • Gardening is very therapeutic with the side effects of teaching us patience and filling us with hope. Thanks, Natalie, for your good wishes which I return happily 🙂


      • It does teach us patience, a lesson I’ve always needed to learn, and fills us with hope. It also fills me with awe and wonder and a burning desire to know more about the Maker of it all. Since you are so busy and may not be able to blog, maybe you could share small pieces of your book with us to whet our appetites for more. I’m excited for you and can’t wait to see how it turns out.
        Enjoy the many blessings in your life, Annette. Natalie 🙂


    • Oh, I love the way you put that. I did take pictures in my heart and they won’t fade away. I’m not sure why the experience had such an impact on me but it did and I’m so glad I got to witness it. Have a great day, pastor Pete. Blessings, Natalie 🙂


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