Once more on the deck of the Stena Germanica, on the way in the other direstion (south through the islands of Sweden and Denmark to Kiel, Germany), I am drunk on Love. Or Rosee. Or both...life through ROSEE colored glasses—HA! I never thought of that before....! Ohiveeeeeee....
...........today I witnessed one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my entire life: my best friend Herta and her very wonderful husband Patrik were married before God and all of their families and friends in Gothenburg Free Church. What an event! What a party! What a reminder of what is important and precious in life! ...and what a PRIVILEDGE it was to be a part of the celebration!
Herta and I met nine years ago (it’s hard to believe) while I was working as secretary in the German and French Department at Calvin College in Michigan in order to support my voice lessons with baritone Mark Moliterno. This was a beautiful time in my life! Calvin is a very special, spiritual place, and I got to witness many other young people (not unlike me) on their paths to success, working toward finding meaning in life. Herta was one of the ones I intantly loved! She saw me as a person, as a friend even before I was her friend...and when she moved to Vienna a couple of years after I did, I felt that a long-lost sister had somehow appeared in my life out of Africa. She brought with her the huge heart of her homeland Africa, and my life was changed by knowing her!
What I recognized in Herta from the very beginning was love. And light. Jesus has filled her with these blessings over and over. To have her in your life is to have a flood light of love. And I think, in retrospect, and in the knowledge that I have now of vocal technique, being bestowed on my by JR,...she saw love in my singing all those years ago at Calvin, and in every time I sang in Vienna when she was there. Herta is one of the special people on Earth who can sincerely see love in most everything, regardless of how society or academia or who/whatever wants to define it and pull it apart into something understandable to reduce love to a few sentences. Herta says 'I always knew you were good.' And with her proclamation I sit back and stare in awe at a gift I have been given and know better than to ask 'why'.
The ceremony was 'simple'. The people there were 'ordinary'. You could have been in that church witnessing Patrik and Herta's love with me. But what happened there in that church today went beyond anything I have witnessed on Earth. Suddenly, it didn't matter what I sang or what I wore or who I was...Love ruled the day and if you could see that suddenly you understood---there are things that are communicated between us that take no words. They go beyond music and beyond fashion and beyond all that we strive to become. The essence of who we are has to do with who we have always been. In this context singing becomes incredible important and yet strangely unremarkable. All I did today was express my heart like every person clapping their hands or reading the verses or offering their prayers during the service.
Herta and Patrik, thank you for being you. Thank you for being beautiful expressions of the greatest kind of love. You are both my heroes and I wish you years and years of fun and intimacy and deep, deep love. I will visit you soon, and look forward to the future...I love you!!!