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.

20 October 2005

"When Day is Done"

A love song, aww. Actually, an ok love song. Unless I've just heard way too many songs from this era, and they're all starting to sound good, as well. But this is attractive. Goes a bit too high at the end, considering the rest of it. Not that I can't sing that high, mind you, because I can, but, well, it's late. For me.

I'm not a night owl, though I can and will stay up late when I'm working on a deadline, most often a sewing deadline. Trying to finish someone's costume, most likely. Which means I'll probably pull a few late nighters this next 10 days or so. August is also high time for this sort of late night carousing, when I'm working on our outfits for the crazy Medieval camping thing we go to. Somehow this year, my husband and daughter got new outfits for Pennsic, but I missed out. Next year I'll give myself two new dresses to make up for it. And I'll be making them the night before, probably, and that will be fine.

I like the quiet of the night. And even here in the city, when it's a relatively quiet evening, and I'm sitting on the back stoop, and the moon is out, in any phase--ahh! The light from the street lights on the trees, green all around me even in this very urban setting. I feel lucky. I sing quietly to the moon, knowing that she hears me, or I hear, or that it's the same magic either way.

At other times the night is less of a thrill. There are endless nights on end where my daughter wakes me me at 2:30AM, and I walk her back to bed after a trip to the bathroom, and then I lie in bed, unable to fully drop back into sleep, for an hour or more. Or, worse, the nights where I wake up and all I can think about is the inevitability of my death, or the death of those I love. Or I'm trying to figure out endless variations on how to make too little money stretch just far enough.

When I was pregnant, and up a lot in the night, my mother suggested just giving into it. "If you're going to be awake, be awake. Get something done, and then get back to sleep later." But now I try to think more along the lines of resting, even if I can't actually sleep. Let my body relax, breathe deeply, think happy thoughts. Well, the happy thoughts are the part of that equation that works least well.

But this always works: When I was a child, I had an imaginary playmate, a little boy. We had all sorts of adventures together, and he grew up with me. When I was older, 10 or so, I started to write these stories down. I never finished one, not one I was happy with, at any rate. Now, on a sleepless night, I start the story again, and imagine it in as vivid detail as I can. I plot out the story line a little more clearly, or rationally, or not. And I'm asleep in no time. Although I idly am attracted to the thought of someday finishing this story of mine, I realize now that there is such a comfort in letting my dreams keep this story to themselves, letting it play out endlessly, as I need it to continue on that particular evening. I can go without needing a morning recollection of its conclusion, if there is one. And my imaginary friend continues to grow older with me, a strange and secret companion.

So now I have this blog writing that's keeping me up a little later into the evening than previously. I never think that I'll write very much: this will be the night that I write two lines and I'm just done, I think. But it really hasn't worked that way. Generally, at least, I don't have trouble getting to sleep either. I read 2 pages of the ubiquitous bedside book, the light goes out, and I fall into a deep sleep.

But just in case, my story is ready to go. For years, it's begun the same way: "The night had been cool, and the dawn brought an even cooler morning. The sounds of the night insects had changed into the pre-dawn songs of the birds. . ." And I'm off running.


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