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.

01 November 2005

"My Heart Stood Still"

On to songs--I'm presuming multiple entries--from Rodgers and Hart. This section as a whole has been very funa and lush, and I'm feeling good about the future offerings. I've noticed that notes in what I thought of us my break point are not as difficult as they were, I wonder what that's resulting from. (Ugh, never end a sentence with a preposition. I have trouble with that rule, I can rarely figure out how to change it to another sensible form.)

I've been thinking all day about yesterday's post, the frantic-me post. I think that what's going on, this strange satisfaction with my accomplishments, is all to do with mindfulness. Yes, I'm drawing still on my manic planning self, my endless energy self, but I'm also being more relaxed in the each successive moment following so closely one upon the other. Making my list, but then being very focused on each task in its order, doing it well, neither quickly nor slowly, careful yet efficient. Breathing every so often, even, deeply, before moving on to the next task. I don't get more done, neccessarily, but what does get done is done as well as possible in that moment, and I don't fret about the rest at all, it falls to the side, gently.

When I was in labor with my daughter the final 'pushing' stage took a long time, four hours. I don't remember it super well, I was in a very altered state at the time, though nothing to do with any drugs. Totally natural childbirth, that's me! Ok, it's more that I was incapable of uttering more than monosyllabic words, and those were focused on telling the midwife when the next contraction was coming. Between each contraction I relaxed utterly. I was exhausted, saving my energy to some extent, and focusing entirely on that relaxed state and breathing more deeply into it. The midwife kept checking the baby, and me, and since we were doing fine, she let me take my time. It was the most amazing experience of my life, and if I could go through it again, without the pregnancy part and the taking care of an infant part, I would do it in a heartbeat. My focus was absolute, on the effort as needed, and on the relaxation between effort.

I also think of Robert Heinlein's 'Stranger in a Strange Land', where the Martian-raised human brings in the concept of 'Waiting is.' There's a comment at some point about looking at the semi-alien's method of waiting so fast that anyone would consider him to be rushing at full speed. While I don't have his internal time-alterating capabilities, something like this does seem possible. When I take a breath, and focus fully, without allowed distractions, in the time it takes me to exhale I can solve the problem, make the decision, move forward. Time seems to slow, seems endless in its finiteness, mysteriously, but miraculously evident. Most anything can wait for my exhale, and when it can't, I trust my intuition and leap. So far, so good. Moreover, I seem to even know when to leap and when to let the breath be taken. It's a very good thing.


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