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.

11 January 2006

"Careless Love"

I'm not inspired by this one, though it--like the other songs in this section, typically--includes multiple verses, which is always good. I'm a great believer in singing all the verses.

I'm thinking about life-arcs. We start out as babies who believe that we are the world. It takes decades before we can really grasp in its entirety the reality that we are not the world anymore than anyone else is, and that we all have to share. We spend the center and the bulk of our lives, usually, taking care of others: our children, our partners, our pets, our parents. Significantly, we end up taking care of our parents since they're moving inevitably sooner to the other end of the arc, when again the world becomes centered on us. I suspect that it doesn't matter at this far end if we know that this isn't exactly true, it's more that we don't care, or can't be bothered. I'll try to get back to you on the subtleties from that end when I get there.

If we're lucky, or rich, or really selfish, we have blocks of time somewhere in the middle when we can focus more on our own needs, rather than those of others. And not just the basic needs--food, drink, shelter, love, etc.--but the ones a bit higher on Maslow's hierarchy: creative projects, gaining broader recognition for our efforts, deep thinking about the meaning of life, and what legacy we will leave.

I've always been fascinated with the idea that some cultures, particularly Indian, that I know of, acknowledge that we will pass through various stages in our lives. This implies that it is proper and good to be at different places at different times, and as much as change still frightens me a bit, it is comforting to know that this is somewhat predictable. I think of my daughter: now with her need to spend time getting dirty, exploring the world, challenging her boundaries. At some point she'll be a teenager, raging against all the unfairness in the world, reveling in the high drama of the human condition, developing her own ideals and dreams of what the world should be. And then she'll become something else entirely, over time.

I'm not so sure that I have as clear of a view of either where I am, or should be, or could be right now. Time will give me perspective, I'm sure. But things do change. Things shift, settle, break up or down entirely or partially, re-settle, re-shift, again and again. I can't predict any of it for sure. But I know that things will change.


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