Thursday, September 14, 2017

Kalek's Song

My promise to myself before Irma hit was that I would focus more on blogging and writing and art, and less on following social media and stressing over book sales numbers. Of course, during Irma, all I did was stress over Irma and follow the news. It has made recalibrating a bit difficult. 

A bit how I imagine Kalek.
Kalek's hair is much curlier, though. 
So, today, I'll use a post I made on Facebook as a springboard. While waiting out Irma, a certain song played over and over in my mind. It's the same song I imagine Kalek, my Elven rocker from Toch Island Chronicles, playing in Finding Angel. There is a scene where Angel meets him for the first time, and she experiences his magic Talent, which is to play the songs of the stars.

Kalek's Talent was inspired by Psalm 19: 1-4, which says, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the end of the world." (NIV)

In Finding Angel, Gregor takes Angel to a clearing in the forest, in the center of which stands the ruins of an enormous temple. Kalek and his band are setting up on the giant portico. Gregor asks Kalek if they can watch the band practice.

Here is a snippet:

One of the Elves appeared from behind a column and leaned his shoulder against it, ankles crossed, peering out through the mass of stringy curls that hung down either side of his long face. His lean arms threaded through studded armbands and ended with long graceful hands. Musician’s hands.  
Like the others, he wore an oversized tunic, belted at the waist, and suede boots. A dagger was tucked in a sheath strapped around the leather pants that stretched over his thigh. It wasn’t until he turned his head that Angel noticed the point of an ear poking out of his tangled curls. She bit her lip, heart skipping. Elves—really! 
“Sure, why not?” he said coolly. “Maybe we’ll autograph a picture for you when we’re done.”  
The other Elves laughed, and then three of them scrambled to take their places with Kalek on the platform at the top of the stairs.  
Angel hadn’t seen any of them carrying anything when they climbed onstage, but in the blink of an eye, they each were in place with a different instrument. One Elven guy stood behind a tall, narrow harp, another held some sort of large flute, and the third sat astride a stool behind what Angel assumed was a percussion set. The drums were all the same height, but of varying widths and looked like solid posts of polished wood with silver grain. Kalek held what appeared to be an ordinary electric guitar. He positioned his hand in front of the strings and spoke. 
“One, two, three…”  
The music took Angel’s breath away. It didn’t come directly from the instruments, and there were no microphones or speakers to direct it elsewhere. It emanated from the surrounding forest, the very trees themselves, and drifted down from the sky. Angel could feel vibration in her feet—it even rang from the grass and rocks on which she stood.  
The leaves on the trees and bushes changed color before her eyes, from green to red to gold and back, sparkling in the brilliant sunshine. Butterflies swarmed out from the forest, fluttering in yellow clouds around the flowers in the clearing. The music seeped all the way into Angel’s bones, stirring her soul.  
The Elven band played slow and soulful at first, and Angel involuntarily closed her eyes. The darkness behind her eyelids brightened to a soft glow, which dispersed and swirled, and then coalesced into images of a savannah that was as real to her as the forest in which she stood. 

From here, Angel experiences visions brought on by Kalek's music. Kalek plays different songs that create different visions or experiences for those who listen. In this particular case, the visions are derived directly from a passage in Job (38:39-41:34) detailing many of the creatures God created.

Now, to the song. This is what I imagine Kalek singing during this scene:

"How Great is Our God" is a really special song for me. The first time I heard it, I was pretty blown away because it was an acoustic performance by a teenager at the church I attended at the time (which was over ten years ago, so he's now a grown man, married, with a new baby). And yeah, I admit I took a couple of physical characteristics from that teenager and gave them to Kalek--the tall, thin frame, the long, curly hair. Everything else is all imagination, though. Anyway, the vision Angel experiences shows God's greatness through His creation, thus why I imagine Kalek singing this song.

Anyway, all through Irma, I heard this song in my head. It wasn't Chris Tomlin singing it, however. It was Kalek, and I was standing in that clearing in front of the temple ruins, safe and secure in the knowledge that God was greater than any storm.


Laura A. Grace said...

This is awesome, Kat! I'm so glad you shard! Talk about powerful!

Kat Heckenbach said...

Thank you, Laura! :)

Allan Hawkins said...
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