A Sketch of Fingers Holding Pencils


Fingers Holding Pencil

Deuteronomy 6:4: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.

In rehearsal, the choir members—sopranos, altos, tenors and basses—

Hold pencils to mark their music—

Entrances, stresses, rhythms, crescendos, decrescendos, rests, D.S.’s, codas,

And all the rest, and as I look around me, I see that the pencils

Held by the fingers of all the singers in all the sections

Lie at the exact same angle, just for a moment.

How this happens, I don’t know,

But I have heard that the hearts of singers in a group,

In rehearsal or in performance, no matter the season or how long they

Have sung together, or how the music is going,

The hearts of the singers beat as one. No one knows why or how

This happens, but it does. Hearts beat as one, just as fingers

Hold pencils at the same angle,

Those same fingers that signal and wave, that comfort and indicate,

Touch and sign, gesture and point, these fingers hold the warm wood

Of pencils at the same angle, and these heart beats and these

Angles are indications that fingers and hearts are one

As the singers are one

And all people are one

And the world and the universe



And God is one,

Hear, O Israel, and hear, O singers,

The Lord our God is one God.