When called for, or at the organist’s discretion,
at the end of lines, or when otherwise the melody pauses, as though gathering itself before
plunging on to whatever denouement awaits—
in those moments of blessed silence there lingers
a shaking in the rafters, a rattling in panes. Foundations quake, assumptions rearrange.
The thirty-two-foot principal, low C.
Neither note nor sound, but wave, a cosmic rumble, as if the bowels of earth are in distress,
as if somewhere not all that far away
a newborn thunderstorm is forming,
as if it has occurred to the Eternal
that one could draw a breath to speak a word
that might become the jussive of creation’s grammar and separate the darkness and the light.
Low frequency high amplitude vibrations
seem to the ear like oceans made of air;
we rise and fall on surging tidal swells
of sound and not just sound but something more. Between compression and rarefaction
lies the Truth, and in the Truth, the Trust
that sunk below the deep abysses of the sea
are the footings of the pillars of the world.
by Paul Hooker