Friday, July 26, 2013

do you share your story?

there is a PBS documentary called "Defiant Requiem".  it chronicles the lives of interned Jews in Terezin. the artists, playwrights, composers, singers and musicians of Czechoslovakia, were all crowded into the Terezin ghetto.

during their time of internment in Terezin, despite inhumane conditions and rules against gathering, the arts flourished.  

the story of the "Defiant Requiem" is about the interned Jewish musicians and their choral director who gathered together every night to learn by rote Verdi's "Requiem", that they might someday sing it in defiance against their captors.  

a requiem is a mass for the dead.  this requiem, sung in latin, highlights God's justice as the tormenters of mankind are tormented by God Himself and they are condemned to everlasting judgement.

the choir at Terezin was told they were to perform the "Requiem" for an audience of the nazi leadership and the red cross.  it was part of an elaborate hoax, choreographed down to minute details, to show the world that the Jewish community was thriving under the nazi's. the day came and they sang with all their might defying their captors and telling them that God Himself would be their judge.

the survivors who are interviewed in the documentary declare that as they sang they forgot about the horrors of what they were surviving and the music became their statement of defiance.

within a week of the performance for the red cross, all the choir members, director, children and most of the camp were sent to auschwitz for extermination.

having performed part of the Verdi's "Requiem" and being enthralled by the power of that requiem, i was once again reminded of the power of music.

i was also once again reminded that we all have a unique story to tell and we need to share, whether it is through music, writing, composition, art, dance or other avenues.  

like the survivors of the choir at Terezin, we need to share our story.  through the retelling of our life experiences, others will gain strength and fortitude to courageously walk through their life journey. 

don't bury your story - instead, share your story.  

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