Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Play Yourself: Bonaventure meets Thelonious Monk

Between work and meeting up with folk at Holy Trinity in Lansdale last night, maybe it would have been better to do what I did when I got home from the church. I finished Robin D. G. Kelley's biography of Monk.

Saturday night I took a break from that book to read the next chapter in Bonaventure, and as often has been the case, I am initially at a loss at where Bonaventure is taking me and why I wanted to travel with him. But now I think I know.

Monday driving home from work... "don't worry about where it took Bonaventure, be concerned with where it will take you." The message to me was what Thelonious Monk told musicians who asked to see the music. "Play yourself"

God doesn't want us to make Bonaventure's journey, but just may want us to play ourselves to the melody that took Bonaventure to God. So I plan to sit and contemplate the words we have come to associate with God...

When Bonaventure played...

within all things, but not enclosed
outside all things, but not excluded
above all things, but not aloof
below all things, but not debased...

as was said to Moses:
I will show you all good.

and when Monk played a beautiful melody by himself...


  1. Ah--so everything IS connected. Love the idea/image of "playing yourself," and then that gorgeous jazz. And Bonaventure, of course. I'll bet he never expected to be accompanied by Monk. :)

  2. I had to do some googling to discover Bonaventure was not just another jazz musician, but found myself immediately "connected", as usual, with your own sentiments regarding "playing yourself". It is good to have those who teach us, who feed us in the journey; but it is His "tug on the anchor line" that should sort it all out....

  3. Christin and Jim... thanks for the visit and comments. just posted more on Monk. Bonaventure will have to wait.


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