Mass with no name for one with many

Having different selves is not all bad.  Often, it allows me to fully experience something that I might otherwise miss.  I love my lonely girl and my artist for their ability to find beauty and peace in the strangest places.

Orange-yellow sun just over the horizon shines a backlight on naked trees on this early morning drive. Some mornings there are no words, only beauty of the rolling land and gentle mountaintops, trees lining the road. Some budding, others with small white and pink flowers bursting forth, others still bare; late comers to this rapidly-approaching spring.

Lines through the forests radiate away from my path; glinting rays of sun in my eyes as I travel east on this clear, clean morning. Outlines with template shapes; steeples, churches, skyscrapers.

Speeding along a 10 lane highway past electronic billboards and crowded exit ramps heading straight into urban decay we sail towards the silent brilliant sun.

Pop → classic rock → hip hop → classical voice →a capella.

A nameless Mass fills my ears. A capella voices transform me into a peaceful pocket surrounded yet separated from the frenzied rush of commuters. I am buffered, cocooned, by the thousand sound waves from the rumbling tractor trailers and screeching of tires of multitasking self-importants whose corporate world would crumble with 10 minutes of discconnectivity risk daily rear-end near misses. [1]

I no longer drive, yet the car continues beneath me.

I float on voices painting patterns on the rising sun.

I feel my hands lock the doors, enter through overpass gateway the barely waking city: gated stores, boarded houses and flophouse converted churches calling god with glaring red letters scrolling electronically Pray with Us! All are Welcome!

Behind their shuttered doors, does another cocoon await?

With no second look, my car continues with me inside, and the silence fades to new voices that filled me up with nameless calm and I cry. Past the man selling papers, and a boy leaving his mother’s van, clutching a clarinet case. Police, delivery trucks. The drug dealers are asleep; streets diurally safe and, uncoupled from the waking city, a tear falls. [2]

There is only the single thread of voices along which I travel through the far-flung city.


[1] “Missa Sine Nomine (Mass without a name)” by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

[2] “The Last Invocation” by Randall Thompson


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