February 26, 2018

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147.3)

‘Time heals’, they say. Or, put another way: we heal over time, usually. In other words, the further we are removed from the hurt, temporally speaking, the better able we are to reconcile ourselves to events, self repair, and move on with our lives. This is an entirely natural process. What the psalmist refers to is a supernatural intervention: God administering a comforting salve in the moment of our need (rather than a long time afterwards). Heartbreak is a type of grief. It’s experienced in response to, for example, the loss or absence of someone we love, separation, a great disappointment, a frustrated longing, or a unrealisable desire. The condition is not a slight thing. Scientifically speaking, you can die from it. Its symptoms are as much physiological as they’re emotional and spiritual. Never blithely tell anyone ‘you’ll get over it!’. They may not, ever. (Time isn’t guaranteed to heal in all cases.) Such can be heartbreak’s profundity. It’s one of a number of wounds that have no obvious outward sign. We carry them around inside, in secret. But God (‘the great physician’) sees, cares (achingly so), sympathises, diagnoses, and prescribes. He does not wish for our hearts and hurts to go unattended.

Over the weekend, I learned of the death of Mrs Eluned Thomas. In my Diary for August 13, 2014 (which was the last time that I saw her), I wrote:

[She was] one of the most gracious and wise women that I’ve had the privilege of knowing. I’d not seen her in many years. Had she lived in biblical times, Mrs ‘T.’ would probably have been considered a prophetess in the mould of Anna (Luke 2.36-8). During the 1980s, she ran a house in Cardiff for single female students. Understandably, Auntie Eluned (as she was called by her girls) drew to her door a succession of male callers on a regular basis … myself included:

6.30 am: I awoke. 7.45 am: A communion. 8.30 am: Admin: email catch up and plans for a week of consultation meetings and teaching ahead, and beyond, and postgraduate matters.

10.15 am: Studiology. I reviewed Saturday’s work on the loudness equalisation of the Bible book mixdowns, before arranging them in their biblical order and across the stereo field, from Left 100% to Right 100%:

I’ve no idea what can be done with it, presently. The imperative was to create an ‘image’ of the totality of the combined recordings. That was sufficient reason for the endeavour. I’ll have to wait until an opportunity for deployment suggests itself.

Over lunch, Pedalboard III was on the bench. Yesterday, it was cutting out, possibly because of a live DC output touching and short circuiting one of the effectors. Of course, it worked perfectly when under scrutiny:

2.00 pm: Back to the texts on blindness. I looked again at a track called ‘Double Blind’ (Matthew 9. 27–31; 20.29–34). The last occasion I dealt with it was in the context of a formidable array of equipment, put together in anticipation of a possible live performance.

However, I suspect that I’m not a performance artist. In the past, my ‘public appearances’ have been largely confined to open-studio events in which I’m making rather than performing. (It’s felt rather like painting plein air under spectator observation.) I’ve rendered guitar-based pieces (scored and improvised) at the close of lectures on my work, and in collaboration with visual artists, reasonably successfully. Perhaps this is a challenge that lies before me. Meanwhile … back onto the decks:

6.30 pm: Practice session. 7.30 pm: I dispatched postgraduate admin and put together the spontaneous ensemble piece, which my ‘Ways of Working in Sound’ group (The Impromptu Aberystwyth University Music Department) made in 5 minutes last Friday.

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