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.

14 December 2005


I like this one quite a bit, and I'm not sure what about this one is any different than the last bunch. It's sentimental, and lush, and short: perhaps it's just a nice melody that makes sense with the text. That's all it takes to make me happy, really.

I'm doing something wacky today, writing my post in the middle of the day, taking advantage of the fun rush created by a dose of decongestant combined with a huge Starbucks mocha. Feeling a bit speedy! So I thought I'd write the drug post today. If you're anyone who's going to be offended or shocked by this post, just move on now! Though it's pretty darn tame, all things considered.

I came to drugs very late in life, relatively speaking. Because I have never liked carbonated beverages, or tea, the strongest caffeine doses I had growing up were from chocolate. Which, of course, has its own drug qualities, and I am a junkie in the chocolate respect. But I didn't like alcohol much, and decided not to drink until I was legally allowed to, for the most part, and to avoid the anxiety of illegality. When I turned twenty-one I spent my requisite year or so of heavy drinking, and decided that I never again wanted to have a black out (I think I had two or three, all told, one recent enough to be embarassing, but it was good reminder), so I cut back to reasonable levels there. Shockingly, considering my family's view of me as 'the hippie', I didn't try pot until I was 23. Part of that was not wanting to smoke anything (part of *that* was not wanting to screw up my singing voice, other than the gross-yuck factor), and this was all solved by a dear friend making me some brownies one day. This experience was so much fun that I did eventually learn to smoke pot, and years later I still smoke the occassional clove cigarette in the same way: inhale deeply and hoo-oold it. . .

I was very lucky in that by the time I tried pot, and later, acid, that my friends who guided me in these encounters were quite experienced (I won't thank you by name, but you know who you are, and I am grateful), and able to give me some fabulous trips. Although I did have a small amount of the 'sit around and get stoned' experience, most of my forays were well planned drug experiences, with the proper attention paid to set and setting. Nice lights (lava lamps are so cool), good food (nachos yummy, yes), fabulous music (Erasure will always bring such fond memories), appropriate activities (creating interpretive art or poetry after watching bad movies, bike riding--don't try this at home, kids!--and the ever popular, sex).

The down side of coming to drugs so late in life is that most of my friends were losing interest around the same time, so my experiences remained relatively limited. But it's very good to have the memory of them, because drug use is far from gone in my life, it's just all legal these days. As a mother, and working, responsible adult, I have no time to be truly bad, alas. We'd have to get a sitter for the weekend, and figure out all over again where to purchase such things. . . I have other priorities that keep me too busy for such efforts at the moment. And meanwhile there's the lovely buzz from red wine, the happy life-is-again-good high from my mocha, the totally altered states I have experienced through movement and dance, or chanting, no substances necessary. To recognize all of these as the altered states that they indeed are is very useful. I have always believed, still believe, that drugs of any kind are only there to show me the way, that my own brain and body can acheive these states all on my own, given the proper kind of attention, creativity, patience, resourefulness, and technique.

Sometimes I do get concerned, then, that I cannot really justify my mocha consumption (maybe two or three a week, on a good week), my daily glass or two of wine (I have to say, it's a big glass, but isn't it supposed to be good for us?), and, as I said, the occassional clove cigarette. I have my brother to blame for this last one (I had no idea they were so tasty! Sweet!) though I still remember how shocked my younger sister was when she saw me puffing on it. But I justify this as a outcome of my many previous years of smoking-in-my-dreams, and I can say that I only do it occassionally. I think I'm at about a pack a year now. That's down from a pack and a half a year; since I've been running I have less desire to smoke at all, and that may trail off altogether at some point.

Life is too short not to allow the occassional vice, and if this is as bad as it gets, I'm doing ok.


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