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Laurie Niles

Shaft of Sunlight

April 8, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Not long ago, in the middle of my yoga class, I had a small revelation while all of us were standing in the pose called "tree."

"Be a tree!" said our instructor, helpfully, as we each attempted to balance on one leg, bend the other, and hold our arms at a variety of branch-like angles.

If I'm a tree, I thought as I struggled with gravity, I'm no longer a sapling. I'm getting to be one of those less-bendable trees that's been standing around for some time. Yet, no matter what, trees of all ages typically sprout shiny green leaves in the spring. Some even sprout colorful and fragrant flowers that grow into fruit.

Cherry Blossoms

In other words, if I'm at all like a tree, I still have new life in me, I can still grow, still flower. I can still give.

I tend to think in these terms, when it comes to Easter. We may feel ourselves given new life, by religion, by music, by spring. But it's important to take that inspiration, go back into difficult circumstances, and do something to make a difference: resurrect worthy projects, resurrect good ideas, resurrect another person's hopes.

For me, the Bach Chaconne says this all in music. The Chaconne begins in a minor key, intense and laborious. Serious. The pace picks up, and it gets busier, more complex. And then, stillness: that shaft of sunlight, when it changes into the major key (below, it's the beginning of the second video). Resurrection. Hope. Inspiration. But it does not simply ascend to heaven from here. It goes back to earth, back to the minor key, and gets back to the work at hand, with more energy and purpose than ever.

At least there's one way to look at J. S. Bach's Chaconne, from the D minor Partita. Here we have Julia Fischer performing. Happy Easter, and happy spring to all:


From Gene Huang
Posted on April 9, 2012 at 1:47 AM
Bach Chaconne is my favorite piece of music. Period.
From marjory lange
Posted on April 9, 2012 at 3:51 AM
Thank you, Laurie. Happy Easter.
From Anita Perez
Posted on April 9, 2012 at 9:51 AM
What a coincidence! I had a major "high" this weekend after listening to the Bach Chaccone twice in a row. My heart was racing, my mind couldnĀ“t focus on anything but the music - an almost out of body experience, with no need for drugs...

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