Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Organ2/ASLSP (as slow as possible)

During the week between Christmas and New Years in 1999 Carolyn and I made an impromptu trip to Stanta Fe, NM. We had no agenda for this trip. So when we saw signs promoting the Palo Dura Canyon near Amarillo, we headed for it. We viewed the expanse of the canyon (the second largest next to the Grand Canyon) from the observation deck and then drove down to the bottom of the canyon to take in the view from there. Something I couldn’t quite identify began to niggle away at my consciousness. Finally, after several hours exploring this exquisite piece of geography, while still standing on the floor of the canyon, I “got” what had to growing inside me. “This is God’s work,” I realized. “And God does wondrous work, and he takes his time!”

A little over a year later, on February 5, 2001, perhaps the most counter-cultural event of the modern/postmodern age began and continues on to this day. Maverick composer John Cage composed a piece titled “Organ2/ASLSP” (for “as slow as possible”). The first chord was played on February 5, 2001 by an organist at a former Cistercian abbey. He was replaced with weights that held the key down till July 5, 2004. The piece will not be finished until 2640, 637 years after it began!

“In a time that is addicted to and threatens to perish from the mammon of sped-up time, we want to pass on the message of this different experience of time as an inheritance for future generations” (Klaus Rhoring, Wall Street Journal and U.S. Catholic, May, 2003).

Never before has a age and people needed such an extreme reminder of the magnificent gift God has given us in time. There is time for everything vital and necessary to human and humane living. As an unfinished project, our lives are never complete this side of death. They will continue into God’s new age with time unlimited to grow into the fullness of who God created them to be. Time is a gift from the Creator redeemed for us by the Savior and filled with new life by the Spirit. It is the form of our ongoing relationship with God and others, now and forever.

Let’s begin to slow down and enjoy this gift of time even now, today, tomorrow, and forever into the ages of the ages.

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