...Not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at...


I am not a religious person.

Even when I was little I was destined for hell. I can clearly remember only three occasions when I bent to prayer--after watching horror movies (glow-in-the-dark crucifix was also hung on windowsill to keep out anything bad and monsterly), when I wanted to get chicken pox so I didn't have to do PSR work with a boy (that one actually worked!), and to keep from getting my period the same day as a pool-party or trip to the water-park.

I am not a spiritual person. But sometimes (just sometimes) I can understand the attraction.

I can always sense a Christian musician from a million miles away. Their first song is inevitably one about a big big all-encompassing love. My radar kicks in. Then throw in some lyrics about valleys. More lyrics about the "love that is beside them at all times, with them through the thick and thin." And then inevitably, the sweet and tentative mention of Jesus, usually slipping by in a not-quite-clearly enunciated chorus.

But even moreso than that, I can always sense a Christian musician because of the purity and sheer innocent bliss of their lyrics and the music that moves through them. So pure, so happy, it makes my teeth squeak.

Last night, a husband and a wife sat up in front of everyone at an open mic. He wore the likes of an Amish hat (but it wasn't one really). She wore a peasant skirt and a bandana tying back her plain brown hair. He played guitar, she smacked her hands in fantastic rhythms on the drum. They sang together, and their voices twisted in the air into one swirl of smoke heading up towards the heavens.

They sang beautiful and pure, in beats that drew out rhythms from inside me, me the big fat throbbing heathen.

Like any type of music, there's a lot of garbage out there. But this duo was *GOOD*. They buouyed the crowd on something that felt frighteningly akin to love. Like something big and great and huge and humming-with-light is singing through them.

When I realized that they WERE (I'm pretty certain) Christian musicians, it called up in my head Bernini's image of the Ecstasy of St. Teresa--the almost scarily pure, almost purely sexual, rapture of the spirit. I've always wanted to see Bernini's Rapture in the flesh, just to feel those chills, just to get within inches of that spiritual purity and feel the goosebumps rise up.

I am envious of these moments.

What it must feel like to be the instrument for something greater. To have direction, to have focus, to not question. So pure and uncynical, so clear about the world and one's purpose in it--I envy that. To loosen and shuffle free of one's skin, and feel as though I am nothing but a fine-tuned beacon.

What it must feel like--like tipping a glass to your lips for a drink and having gold coins spill out instead of water.



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