Loud Cymbals Breath – Through the Chagall Window

The Chagall Window - Chichester Cathedral

The crowd was coming down the festive street, yelling and screaming, in all Colours and air bright with happiness.  It’s Easter and the crowd spirit was as in the last psalm of the bible, one last song with trumpets, guitars, sticks and drums.  Hopping and skipping fast in flashes of sound.  The sound was warming the air, getting stronger, and with the sound the praising was happening, it was as though praising could not occur without lots of sound.  Cymbals had a breath of their own, as though the sound of a human voice itself was not enough.  Not the quiet timid shsht cymbal but the louder more amazing crshaaaang  cymbals, over and over getting the crowd worked up and singing louder. The dance was forming as the crowd entered a restaurant by the side of the square.  Fernando and I were inside, in shafts of light as the praisers came in, singing and bashing and clanging, filling the air with it’s own quantum of holiness, entangling the molecules of time with praise.  We were drinking and the whole restaurant of 1200 people stopped to look and check it all out.

A circle formed with light on the floor in the centre of the restaurant.   The singers entered to the middle, while a lone trumpeter in time with the cymbal and drum stirred the sound and emotion of the room.  Everyone was happy and their breath was one rhythmic voice. The organ in the corner started up, a brilliant hammond sound with leslie spinning round. The colors and sound were mixing up, and everyone’s mind got happy with friendship. The choir in blue were singing the psalm and praising God with loud cymbals on their breath.

Note: The Chagall window [1978] – designed by Marc Chagall, dedicated to the bishop of Chichester Cathedral perfectly captures the theme of Psalm 150 inscribed on the plaque below: “O praise God in his holiness ~ Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.”


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