the gospel according to the other frogs

Tree frogs have recently invaded the woods around my house. (Orlo ate one last night and I went into full on crazy parent mode. He turned out fine.) I have found 3 in my house already. I hate frogs, and I specifically hate frogs in my house. I’m not sure if this is a plague and I’m supposed to release Orlo from slavery or what I have done to deserve this.

In honor of these little frogs, here is a chorus from John Adams’ vast new work “The Gospel According to the Other Mary,” all about frogs. (I would explain what the birth of tiny frogs has to do with the Passion of Jesus Christ, but it’s a long story and I’m lazy. It’s a metaphor kind of. If you are prepared for a long, stream of consciousness explanation, contact me and we will work something out.)

Gustavo Dudamel conducts Kelley O’Connor, the LA Master Chorale and the LA Philarmonic.

from Sacraments

It is spring

the tiny frogs

pull their strange new bodies

out of the suckholes,

the sediment of rust,

and float upward,

each in a silver bubble

that breaks the water’s surface,

to one clear unceasing note of need

Sometimes, when I hear them,

I leave our bed

and stumble among

the white shafts of weeds

to the edge of the pond…

I sink to the throat

and witness the ravenous trill

of the body

at last and then,

consumed in the rush of music.

– Louise Erdrich.


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