When Music Makes a Scene

As part of a writing challenge, I wrote a scene inspired by Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, Adagio Sostenuto. The music is wonderful, and you can listen to it by clicking here.

While I listened, I had these thoughts:

  • A great understanding
  • She realizes her true worth
  • A pleasant place has been found
  • Seeing God in natural things around her
  • Peace

As I began to write, the “her” in my thoughts became the girl in an image I discovered on a Black history website. No names were included with the image, so I named the girl “Netta.” The Rachmaninoff music moved me to write a poem-like paragraph within the scene that highlights a time of joy for her as she makes her way to a favorite and secret hideaway:

Netta was free.

No pig priming. No cotton picking. No running with the dogs to stomp the land.

No itching legs and bleeding palms.

She could sing, she could run, she could laugh,

See the sky, and look beyond what it was to what it could be.

There.

It led her down deep to the place of peace.

Though she wept, it was a cleansing joy,

a soul-lifting moment of free.


The image of the young girl (Arkansas, 1935) and the story it tells bring up a great sense of sadness in me. I cannot help but try to imagine a time of happiness for her.

So, I write.

Think of the Butterfly

Written for a friend in despair


It is amazing to me,

a wondrous endeavor.

Think of the butterfly:

Its plain beginnings,

its ragged shell,

its captured wings.

Has it gone unheard?

The lilies and the sparrows know:

He cares with a cupped hand.

He stoops down with a lift

as sure as the first Day.

He was, He is,

He will.

And so,

my love,

live your struggle while fixed to Him,

a holy silk.

And emerge,

this time,

ready

to fly.

Matthew 6:25-34

All The Same, All That Matters

I am working to turn this poem I wrote into a song:

Inside

there is

no offending color

All the same

All that matters

It’s the beating of the heart

the working of the brain

the moving of the blood

All the same, all the same

It’s the Spirit of God

it’s the soul that remains

tell your brother that you love him

give your sister her place

Good night

And a very good Day

when the Lord comes down

and He carries it away

He’ll bring His color

and nothing else will remain

All the same

All that matters

Ephesians 2:14-16