I think I can safely say, without giving away any spoilers, that the overriding theme of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows deals with Harry’s coming to terms with his own mortality. Those lessons have hit home in numerous ways this week. First there are the subtle, constant reminders of the unrelenting passage of time – the end of summer break and beginning of a new school year and my father’s 83rd birthday tomorrow. Then there are the not-so-subtle reminders – the death of my friend, Steve Pace, and the terrible tragedy in Minnesota.
To this last category add one more item – not as earth-rending as the aforementioned deaths, but still important to us. We learned that two of our four cats are very ill. Winnie, age 12, has a very large tumor of undefined origin. We don’t know if it’s in the liver or spleen, but neither is good news. She will go back to the vet for more x-rays next week. Rascal, age 10, has developed a heart murmur. The vet said that on a scale from one to six, he’s at about a two, so it’s not terribly bad yet. We’ll try some medicines and keeping him calm.
Perhaps, in this midst of all of these reminders of death, it is timely that this week I am performing Mahler’s Second Symphony, the Resurrection Symphony. The Greenville Chorale will be performing with the Brevard Music Center Orchestra in Brevard on Sunday. The repeated refrains include, "Aufersteh’n!" – "Arise!", and "Bereite dich zu leben!" – "Prepare yourself for living!" The rehearsals have been a good counterpoint to these tragedies, and a welcome ray of hope.