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  • The music seems to come flowing toward you, sloshing through your body, whirling around your spine and rushing up the back of your neck. It rearranges your face, makes a fine mess of your hair and withdraws, folds back into your stomach, slowly rocking back and forth, back and forth. And you notice that you're standing right in front of a church, you think that's appropriate, there's no better room for music than a church, and then you remember that day, a Wednesday, the day after. The day after is the worst kind of day, a day you think you'll never get through, but you do, somehow, and then there's all the days thereafter. How does one get through, how did you get through?

    Deep winter, that stone church by the ocean, and the aching urge you felt to go inside, to sit in silence, to mourn your loss, light a candle, feel surrounded. By what, by God, by that which you won't name, that which has too many names already, too many connotations, too many stubborn truths. The door was locked, bolted; once again they had shut you out. Their sacred room is not for you, never was, remember, they've told you time and time again. You, too, have been given multiple names; multiple truths have been attached to your unbaptized soul. The music in you has been deemed diabolical, too forceful, too passionate, too much.

    You leaned your head against the door, the ancient timber, you mouthed a prayer, mouthed a song, a silent song. And then, his hand on your shoulder, he pulled you away, reminding you that it's of no use to yearn for what you cannot have, when will you ever learn, he said, softly.

    And you look at the music now, and it looks back at you, and you think about the fragrance of music, the tender touch, the deep kiss, the violent shock of music, you turn to music and you whisper that prayer, and you know music will not lock you out, will never slam the door in your face, music will step aside and let you in, lead you deeper inside its giant cathedral, escort you down the nave, all the way to the chancel, and there, instead of an altar, is a mirror, and in that mirror you see yourself clearly. The image is not blurry anymore, you recognize your face, and the open wound has been carefully patched up, and your silent prayer has become a song, a symphony, a choral, has merged with the sound of waves and the pounding of pulse, the only truth you need to know.
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