I put the dog out this morning and heard sleet falling but couldn’t see it or feel it. The sound of it hitting the bare trees was like a world full of tiny invisible piccolos playing quiet staccato notes. In a few minutes it had collected enough to see it on the deck, and on the dog (who was whining to come in). The invisible became real.
This third Sunday of Advent is known as Gaudete Sunday, from the first word of this day’s Latin mass, meaning “Rejoice.” Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. For centuries Christians have been singing some version of this introit at this point in the Advent season. It’s a blending of Psalm 85 and Philippians 4, Hebrew and Greek together.
I never knew that before. What a glad thought. I wonder how those two passages came to be sung as one song? It’s a marvelous image, people living amidst all the words together, Hebrew and Greek and everything else, words all around them all the time, in the air, the dust, dripping from the clouds, ringing out from stars they can’t see behind the clouds. I imagine it sounding like the ice this morning, tiny notes that no one felt or saw but that played about them always.
I’d love to live in that kind of world. Maybe I do and just can’t hear it for the noise. But I’d guess there was a lot of noise in their world, too, so the words must sort themselves out somehow. If I just keep singing them, I’ll say, rejoice. And again, I’ll say, rejoice.
Night on Istiklal St, Istanbul (2011)