Sunday, July 15, 2012

Church guitar concert about King David; Church Civil War exhbit


Today, on Sunday morning, after resting my ankle from a stumble in a disco last night, a couple of quiet “events”:

At the Clarendon Presbyterian Church, in Arlington VA, the Rev. David Ensign mixed his sermon with a guitar “concert”, called “David’s Dance Party”.  The message concerned the controversial story of David and Michal.  David had to prove his worthiness to Saul, in order to take a bride, by taking a particularly intimate part of the bodies of the Philistines – something that would sound “adult” today. (I don’t know how explicitly Carl Nielsen covers this in his stunning opera “Saul and David”, which I have on Chandos and which ends with a volcanic musical explosion.)

The story between David and Michal gets complicated when she arranges his escape, and later David, somewhat insensitive to her faithfulness and love, dances almost nude on the street, impressing both men and women.  Perhaps this episode in the Bible anticipates the movie “Magic Mike”, or perhaps it even foreshadows today’s gay discos (the dancers).  And yet all of this followed the rituals that honor the Ark of the Covenant.  There’s a good “about” reference on the story here

 Sounds like it would make a good modern opera for one NYC’s young composers today to attempt.
   
And as much as David was motivated by the politics of blood lines (and he probably could see where it would lead some day), there is a lot to say about his love of Jonathan, as here

After the church “concert”, I visited a special exhibit at Mount Olive Methodist Church, nearby in Arlington, “Civil War: Living History Event”.  Much of it demonstrated a field hospital and tent city outside.
 Indoors, there was an exhibit of medical equipment used on the battlefield.  No photography was permitted, but the instruments (needles and saws) looked much too big and unsanitary for medical use. 

"Arlington Now" has a story about the exhibit here

Indoors in the Church, in the basement, there is also a photography exhibit of young people building or fixing old homes (for the elderly?), such as a picture of siding being replaced with manual labor and elbow grease.
 As if all this weren't enough, I encountered a new "mini Farmer's Market" on McKinley St, near the Post Office, Wells Fargo, and popular Westover Market. 

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