“Beauty in Deformity”
Flawlessly the dissonant chords resonate–
rubbing and ringing.
The pain in the notes bearing
a crying, a caressing,
The rhythm alternating
while voices crescendo.
A sometimes echo reaches
from the depths of wretchedness,
sparks a light, illuminates, dazzles, grows to a blaze–
reverberates from the fleeting chaos,
rests on the notes past
and drips lovely peace.
Music is born from the belly of
And still in consumate tension,
Beautiful is the perfectly formed deformity.
Recently, I unearthed this poem that I wrote back in August 2006. The original poem had two stanzas, but I feel that the second stanza was a somewhat pathetic attempt to spell out a metaphor that is better left unspoken. After deleting the second stanza entirely and tweaking the remaining portion, I’m humbly content with the end product (and I do mean humbly because I recognize that I could be the only one in the world who thinks this poem is decent or worth reading, and that is totally okay with me).
The inspiration for this poem was a challenging piece of music sung by a choir that I was honored to be a part of during my senior year of college. If you’ve ever sung or listened to this kind of piece, you’ll recognize the chords taut with dissonance that pierce the listener’s ear just long enough until the glorious moment of resolution that makes every previous ache worth it.
Sometimes I feel as though my life, like the music, is in a state of perpetual dissonance–whether it’s some impatient longing, some heartrending pain, some tearful goodbye, or just the mundane ebb and flow of life–and I am always hoping, longing, and waiting for that moment of resolution. I walk through a painful time calling out “Why me? Why, God? Why all this hurt?” but after the trial is over, I can see that it was the pain, the tension, and the longing that brought forth the beauty and helped me appreciate the resolution. Thank you, God, for the moments that try me and test me and for the fresh grace that you pour out in the midst of the pain.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Cor. 12:9).