DCC News

 

Weekly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Dublin Community Church

 

May 23, 2008

                                                           

Where the Air is Rarified

We were staying in the Sea Pearl Chalets on the west coast of India and as the full moon was setting in the west and the sun rising in the east, I was sitting on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean listening to Frank Sinatra.

I suppose I should have had some Indian sitar music on my CD player or perhaps some classical music to provide an appropriate backdrop to a classical looking place, such as the palm-laden shores of the state of Kerala. But, no, I was listening to Sinatra. There were a couple reasons for that, not the least of which was that I possessed no sitar music on CD nor was I in the mood for what little classical CD music I carried for the trip. Besides, I just felt in my gut that Sinatra was more appropriate for me at that moment. And he was.

My mind returns to that trip of a few years back since I have noticed that Sinatra died 10 years ago this past week. Ten years for the country to be without Sinatra. How can that be? Yet I see that the U.S. Post Office is issuing a Sinatra Stamp.

On that particular morning a few years ago, I awakened early and went over to the cliffs to watch the morning light drift onto the beach and the ocean. No direct early morning sunlight struck the sand on the beach since there was a large cliff just east of the beach. Direct sunlight would not reach the sand until 10 am. But, as the light increased, the full moon was setting in the west towards Africa and at one point I could see both the sun and the moon in the sky. I watched the Indians. Some religious group had gathered and was conducting a morning ritual. And as Sinatra crooned in my ear, I watched the locals far below on the beach at their prayers. We all have our gods.

 

In time the moon set, the sun rose higher and the locals left the beach and I decided it was time for me to go down and walk along the oceans edge.

As I sat in the sand with my feet being washed by the ocean I had my earphones on and found that for some strange reason, Sinatra’s “Moonlight in Vermont” provided just the right mood for me. The gentle lapping of the waves seemed in rhythm with Frank. I sat there for 30 minutes and listened to that song several times, not really trying to figure out why that song “worked” for that moment and place in time. I suppose it was not the words, since they spoke of New England, and meadowlarks, rather it was the mood and the tempo which captured me.

On the trip to and from India I spent a week each time in London. There is plenty to do there and one never tires of the world-at-your-door atmosphere in that city. I stayed one week just a down the street from the Albert and Victoria Museum and walked by the British Museum, cathedrals and numerous other bastions of world and English culture. But I preferred to just walk the city and not wander in a cavernous museum. When I was in Bombay a few weeks earlier I sought out a place which Sinatra mentioned in passing in one of his songs. I only had about 10 hours in Bombay and yet I spent half of it chasing a Sinatra lyric.

We all have our gods.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing