Hildegard’s Feast Day This is a countdown Day 3.
Three days until Hildegard’s Feast Day – 17th September.
In this poem from my new book Hildegard of Bingen: A poetic journey, we see how important MUSIC and SINGING is to HILDEGARD and to the LIFE OF HER ABBEY.
Hildegard is is now the Magistra (meaning teacher.) Jutta has died and Hildegard holds her sisters together. She leads them away from the old monastery to begin the creation of their own Abbey. (the new Abbey in Bingen)
To lift their spirits she composes music that carries them on the breath heavenwards. The year is 1151 at their new Abbey on the Rhine River.
Seamless fold of seasons.
Not so seamless, their daily struggle..
Life is still comfortless
Music carries them.
Singing gladdens them.
Hildegard is invigorated
by harmonies of sound
sees music in the dawn
light on the hills
in the caress of the wind
shape of the clouds
sound of the entwining rivers
the patter of rain
chatter of verdant tendrils of vine.
Music moves in her mind
fills her writing
defines her day.
She sings with her sisters.
Her sisters sing with her.
Singing softens their tired
like blossoms soften stone walls.
In giving voice to her poetry
Hildegard bursts into song.
Words of Divine Light,
sounds from the heavenly spheres
echo in her,
O fleeting soul, be strong.
Clothe yourself in the armour of light.
You are surrounded
with the embrace of Divine mysteries.
She sees creation, a symphony of joy and jubilation,
a great chorus of the cosmos itself.
In the garden with her sisters
she draws lines with a stick on the earth
dots out the shift of sounds,
with the stick as baton and pointer
she teaches them her new music.
Their eyes shine.
Her antiphons and canticles
enrich the Divine Office.
Richardis leads, her voice ethereal,
the sisters join, words and rhythms soar,
breathless notes, higher and ever higher.
Their unfinished church
embraces their song,
a new heaven and new earth.
Photos of music scores fro around Hildegards time to show the beautiful calligralhy and the second photo is of the author in the vicinity of where Hildegard is supposed to have lived in the anchorage at the Disibodenberg Monastery from 1112 – 1150