Saturday, April 3, 2010

Why do I weep?

As I sit working in my office all the day long, my Ipod shuffles through its tunes. Country, classical, Broadway, classic rock or gospel - they all sound good through the Bose speakers of my docking station.

This afternoon a very favorite song popped up. "Into the West" is the conclusion of the "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy. Our family saw the third movie together on Christmas Day, 2003.

After epic conflicts and heroic sacrifices, good triumphs over evil, and the characters go home to their "happily ever after." But Frodo, battle scarred and world weary, decides he must leave his home for a haven over the sea. At the last moment possible, he gently lets his friends know he is leaving them behind. "Into the West" is the chorus to this final scene.

I love this song because of the memories it evokes. I can't hear it without remembering my young, tender hearted son, who did not anticipate this twist to the story's end, sobbing in the movie theater at the friends' gut wrenching farewells.

I love this song because it is piercing and majestic and has a glorious french horn descant. I can't hear it without thinking of my daughter, a french horn player. In 2003 she was just two years past her final cancer treatment, far too soon for me to rely on remission. The song soars with the reminder that death's separation would be only temporary.

Here are the words to "Into the West."

Lay down
Your sweet and weary head
Night is falling
You have come to journey's end
Sleep now
And dream of the ones who came before
They are calling
From across a distant shore

Why do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see
All of your fears will pass away
Safe in my arms
You're only sleeping

What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home

And all will turn
To silver glass
A light on the water
All Souls pass

Hope fades
Into the world of night
Through shadows falling
Out of memory and time
Don't say
We have come now to the end
White shores are calling
You and I will meet again
And you'll be here in my arms
Just sleeping


And all will turn
To silver glass
A light on the water
Grey ships pass
Into the West

This afternoon I listened to the song five or six times, each time louder than before, aching for the times I will be on shores opposite my loved ones.

Every now and then, for a brief moment, I wonder whether the ship will be taking me to my lover's arms or bringing him and my babies to mine. I tingle for the moment of greeting parents and grandparents, unshackled from my childhood perceptions.

I love this song because, when I hear it, I am encouraged. Whether it be in three years or thirty, when I am damaged or worn beyond endurance, there is nothing to fear, all Souls pass. The pale moon will rise, a LIght on the water, my ship will carry me safe.

That is the beauty of Faith. I weep for joy.


Ricky Balthrop said...

I love you. Beyond words and beyond time. I love you.

Sherry said...

Oh, Kerry . . . . Hallelujah! And thank you. Do you remember Lewis's Voyage of the Dawn Treader? The vision in this song and your vision evoke for me the same sparkling,overwhelming beauty that heaven must be and Lewis paints.