No matter how great a song is it cannot raise the dead, cure cancer or make your lost lover return. Music does not change the world you live in, reverse time or change history. It does not promise snake oil solutions to life’s woes. But music is anything but impotent; indeed it can be experienced as one of the most potent forces in our universe. For music can assist us in changing the way that we interact with the world we live in.
Great music can help us to affirm life, embrace it, face it and sublimate it. In other words music can help sensitize us to, and celebrate, the life that we participate in.
The poet is one who helps us experience life as inscribed with a rich and sensuous texture. She helps us to call forth, confront and confirm our existence. Inviting us to find the courage that might enable us to say “yes” and “Amen” to life in the midst of its complexity and in spite of our anxiety.
In light of this we might begin to understand how a divine miracle is not something that simply raises the dead but one that is able to raise the living to a place where life is not experienced as death. For without the latter the former would appear to be nothing more than the work of an evil demon.
I guess that is why I was never that interested in gods who raise the dead. The real power lies in raising the living: something that is testified to in the act of love.
Love is that which experiences another as worth more than the mundane matter of which they are composed. In love we find a cause for which we would be willing to die, and it is there that we experience life as worthy of living. In love we find a world worth dancing in and celebrating.
The claim that “God is love” testifies to this miracle. It points to the idea that, in the act of love, we encounter a transcendent depth and mystery that sets our world ablaze, a depth and mystery that we cannot grasp, but which renders our world worthy of being grasped. In other words it hints at the idea that the highest good is not some object that we should love, but a reality we participate in through the act of love itself.
Love is then the true miracle; it is in love that the living are raised from death to life. In love we do not run from our world, but learn to embrace it and raise it to the level of the sacred.