New guests pass by my table, and above the din of diners' voices, I hear one ask, "That is his name?" and the sound of that resonates in my heart.
I listen to the background wash of intermittently distinguishable human sounds and wonder: What if every tiny, sudden utterance were precious, like a flower... ephemeral, yet full in its glory as a manifestation of the One? Who but I would delight in each? Who would play a jukebox overfull with this song?
This room is a studio, each dinner conversation a jam-session for a CD to be released as a perfect creative expression of "The Voice of Allah Over A Meal." Every human sound, every utterance, each smack of lips, each sigh from that table-of-one, every too-loud laugh... all recorded here, immediately and permanently embedded in the molecular structure of the stone walls of this open room. Tonight, I alone have the stethoscope, won as if a prize for merely showing up.
Each sound is a cricket, and insect, a blossom...perhaps seen or smelled...maybe heard, maybe not, but a track in the mix, essential to the Master, just the same.
Yet, where, who will be the audience? It is pure creation. As producer, I bristle with anticipation of the potential! I envision it going out over the airwaves, now captured and then broadcast as precious wave patterns, each bearing the promise of the profit of joy. I see it arrive and dance the speaker of the radio in a noisy home, the pattern-beaten air barely cutting through and mixing into the din of a family's lively dinner-time banter... Oh, for the love of it all!
And, where it enters the home of the quiet, the sounds of distant, familiar voices soothe, because they resonate in the hearts of those who can hear above themselves the sounds of their other selves. Repeating again and again, yet never the same where they arrive - where they issue forth to reflect and enliven the chambers of the lonely, the alone who have gathered together to break their breads - these sounds do not perish where they find purchase in the ear of the soul.
Oh, Allah, dost Thou give Thy voice so freely, and with no desire that
each sound be cherished, that this cacophony may pass on as so much water over a fall? What abundant beauty dost Thou give so selflessly!
I sit, rapt, attentive and stunned to gratitude by Thy glorious symphony of the everyday, the under-rated, the inconsequential, the exquisite sound of Thy early evening voice.