There have been so few consistently beautifully transporting spiritual exercises undergone in my life as the ones occasioned by the growing up of our daughter.
She is three years old, and was in the car with me recently when I played Journey’s 1978 "Infinity" album. She is usually entertained by the non-musical aspects of my rock and roll tastes (the colorful iconography of concert t-shirts, the drama of air guitar solos, the everyday insouciance in the recitation of a lyric from Tool or Wolfmother, Rush or Winger).
But today, a revelation unlike any other so far: when Steve Perry poured forth the angelic invocation at the beginning of the tune "Opened the Door," a plaintive "Girrrrrrrrrrrrrllllllllllllllllllll...... oh you came to me," my daughter opened her mouth and out came her very own "Opened the Door", and you must believe me when I tell you her pitch, intonation, the whole body of her voice was just so, so right, and it was just an extended vocalization: "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh," but it was what Perry had just sung. As if her singing voice were awakened by his summons: "Girl!!"
Whatever she eventually makes of her singing voice down the road, I hope I never forget what she sounded like in that moment. This revelation of these sounds from my daughter introduced a veil of light, re-introduced this girl, this veil, not only in a way that I had never known before, but with a creative force that brought a new love and wonder out of me.
Then, best best best best best of all, when I tried to turn down the music to tell her how sublime she sounded, she instead demanded "Turn it up!" Everything about me swooned, staggered, surrendered. The gods of rock, the rocking of the gods: my daughter sang with Steve Perry, and then demanded that I crank it! What mystery did she allow into the car? I re-enter Luke 1:43: "And why has this happened to me?"
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York