On yesterday’s blog post, I forgot to include one very important part about my spiritual journey. I am going to talk about it in this blog post.
During the summer of 2015, I went on a pilgrimage in England. My church choir was in residence at the Bristol Cathedral. We visited many places that had some sort of a spiritual connection. We left two days early to get more of London because most of the trip was mainly on Bristol. That was a smart move because that helped a dream of mine come true. I fulfilled the dream on July 30th, 2015 at the Queen’s Theatre. My mom took me to see “Les Mis” in London and I lived a dream that night. The moment the lights went off and the music began, I know it was more than I originally thought. The emotions were spot-on and that was the best cast I ever saw with Les Mis. I had an understudy for Valjean and he was brilliant. I especially loved Rachelle Ann Go as Fantine because she made that character real. I could see a heart-broken, desperate woman and her love of Cosette. I felt Eponine’s heartbreak because she loves Marius unrequitedly. I felt the passion of the students even though I felt how hopeless they were during “Drink With Me”. That Enjorlas was the best I ever saw. This Enjorlas was truly passionate about the cause and was a great leader of this uprising.The Thenardiers’ were hilarious and I also saw their greedy, abusive side as well. For the first time, I finally cared for the journey of Javert. I never saw Javert for who he is. Because he was played brilliantly by Jeremy Secombe, I could finally see Javert and he was most effective during his famous soliloquy.
The next day, the pilgrimage began. I visited Windsor Castle and the next day went to a service at Westminster and we got in sit in quire. During Eucharist on Sunday, he went to St. Paul’s Cathedral and we sat under the dome, which is the most gorgeous part of the Cathedral. When the Bristol part of the pilgrimage began, the trip began to be much more inspirational. That started when the choir sang in the Cathedral for Evensong for the first time. One day, we spent time at Bath, which was a small part of the trip. The mountain-top moment was Stonehenge, and I automatically knew how sacred it was. At first it looks like a month of rocks, but as you get closer, you realize it is so much more. The atmosphere makes Stonehenge feel scared and as walking around, something pulls you in. Tintern Abbey had a spiritual image to it. I saw a white dove in the corner, and doves are associated with Christ. At Chepstow Castle, I saw places that looked like stained glass. They were where windows used to be and the nature formed the stained glass effect. I was one of the few that saw the dove. Everyone got to experience a service at Salisbury Cathedral. But the best service was the final Evensong in Bristol because our choir was at their best.
Ultimately, the fellowship among everyone was why the trip was as inspirational and moving as it was. Our bond was so strong and we got to know each better as the trip continued.
The transition from the extra days to the pilgrimage was excellent. The fact that “Les Mis” happened the day before the group got together makes perfect sense. I recognize the inspirational world of the show. Valjean’s journey is spiritual because it is about his quest to redemption. He gets redeemed by the bishop early on, but Valjean continues to make that redemption stronger as his life continues. He shows compassion towards the poor especially towards Fantine. He shows love and kindness to his adopted daughter and sacrifices himself to rescue Marius, the one his daughter loves. By the end of the show, the redemption is really strong, which is why I always feel uplifted.