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A Love Supreme

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I might have a chance to play some more jazz soon and so I have been spinning a few discs from that genre over the weekend; a shot of what I once heard David Friesen call jazz vitamins. I have also been on my church’s weekend away, down at Herne Bay Court with teaching sessions led by Simon Jones (using the Christians in McWorld material he blogged about a couple of months ago).

What brought jazz and a church weekend together (apart from the mash-up of All Blues and Psalm 88 that I performed at the Saturday evening concert) was actually deep sadness. I hope that we remember Simon’s stimulating teaching but we will not forget how Sunday morning was changed by news of a bereavement back home. With the other elder travelling back to offer comfort, it fell to me to guide the rest of us through the morning, giving space for our grieving but not succumbing to despondency. I am am deeply grateful for the way the congregation pulled together; we did live up to the message we had been hearing and I am confident of working through the next through weeks, continuing to support each other.

I got some time on my own though, on the return journey. My car was loaded with equipment and so, concentrating through the dismal rain with a melancholy backdrop of sad, smudged skies and autumn’s brush leaching life from the trees, I put on John Coltrane’s live recording of A Love Supreme. I have always wondered why the music sounded so ugly and fractured when the title was about love, and supreme love at that. Reflecting on the experiences of the morning, the pain that is faced when you are willing to love, I think I grasped it just a little more.

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