Unitarian Hymnal Sing-along

In which Kathryn attempts to sing a different song everyday from the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, 'Singing the Living Tradition'. Earlier posts are based on songs from the Reader's Digest songbooks she found at yard sales as a child, including: 'Reader's Digest Treasury of Best Loved Songs', 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook', and 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook of Faith and Joy'. Bonus Folk song material from: 'Folk Song USA', by John and Alan Lomax.

10 October 2005


I thought I would say something about how this song is very dull and predictable, text-wise, and it is. But it's the toughest song that I've had to learn, thus-far, and that made it feel a lot more interesting in the end. Although I sang this through initially this morning, I'm too tired now to figure out at the moment whether it was tough because it's poorly composed, or only because the harmonies aren't quite as predictable as the other songs I've done this far.

Do I want things to be predictable, or not? There's certainly a comfort in predictability, but I scorn a total lack of variety when I find that sorry situation. I also get concerned about needing too much predictability, because I know that as I get older it will be more important to maintain some level of change, challenge the mind, stave off Alzheimer's and all that. Use it or lose it. And since I'm planning on living to be 112 (I enjoyed the US Bicentennial so much at 10, I decided then that I wanted to stick around for the Tricentennial, then have a little of a graceful decline), and I want to be in good shape for my live interviews at 110, well, I'd better get into the good habit of tying my shoes differently every so often now. Use my non-dominate hand, learn a few new languages, take up the cello even (just when I thought I was saving that for my *next* life). And if I'm planning to live another 70 years or so, well then, that puts things into perspective. I've got plenty of time to put out my next album, throw a complete set of useable plates on a potter's wheel, and finish a few quilts.

On the other hand: Tonight I just came in from a viewing for a client of mine. She led a long and full life, ninety-plus years. I worked on her for the last time a few weeks ago, though I never would have suspected that would be the case then. One of her younger relatives put together a fabulous photo collage that showed her living her long life very fully indeed. It was great to see that, since I've only seen and heard about bits of her end game. I've also been thinking a bit lately about another client of mine that died almost two years ago now, near Halloween. She was 36, and found out about her terminal cancer only about 7 months before her death. I met her a couple months after that nasty surprise, and I will forever regret never being able just to hang out with her, have a glass of wine, talk about parenting and music and life, ordinary, non-traumatic stuff. I remember her talking about how hard it was to shop for a new book to read, because she knew that she'd be reading a very finite number of books now. She also had lived a very full life, by being very strong willed and determined to do what she wanted, way before she knew that her time here would be limited more than average. It's a small blessing for the people that will always regret that she's not still around.

I don't know how much time I have here. But whether I'm going to meet my age goal, and need to keep active to keep sharp for my moment of old lady fame, or whether my time will be up around the next bend and I need to get everything in in the short term--either way, now is the time to do it. Whatever 'it' is. Be cool, be here, be with the ones I love, take care of the business that makes life feel good. Spread joy, peace, or kindness when I can. Make music, dance, enjoy, smile.


At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eat Beets!!


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