Tuesday, November 12, 2013


In memoriam
Sir John Tavener

So many people hold the death of a significant person in their lives to be a "turning point";  a moment in time from which all others are measured.

I don't mean to sound trite when I confess that that person for me is Diana, Princess of Wales.  I am "of that age", after all.  Most certainly, as a young girl, she was The One whom I held up as the ideal perfection.  I followed her carefully staged romance, engagement and marriage, besotted by the "fairytale".  Her clothes, her hair... the style of her was of constant fascination to me.

As I grew older, of course, the cracks in her public persona most certainly began to show.  She was far from perfect-- just like the rest of us.  With such a troubled background, minimal education, and the inexplicable lack of support and compassion from those placed around her, she could not possibly have been expected to survive.

Her death shook me to the core.  But it is a few moments of the hauntingly beautiful funeral service that will be forever burned in my brain, for as long as I live:

The finality of that closed box, 
draped in scarlet, gold and blue, in the cavernous Abbey.  

A circlet of white rosebuds; the gut-wrenching sight 
of the card inscribed: 


Two small boys, one with his head buried in his hands.

And the sacred lullaby by Sir John Tavener,
lifting a soul to heaven.  

"The important thing about music is not what one writes down...  It is what is left out.
One should move towards silence."
--Sir John Tavener

Song For Athene (Cleobury) by Tavener on Grooveshark


Nan Sheppard said...

Beautiful music today, as always...

merinz said...

I feel tears coming when I hear the hymn 'I Vow to thee my Country'. Her funeral was beautiful, and so too were the tributes from the people who turned out in there thousands to honour her.

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