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.

15 February 2006

"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"

I like singing this song, though I really wonder about the backstory that the text describes. She's in love, her friends tell her it won't last, and when her lover leaves her they laugh at her. I think she needs to lose these friends. What a non-supportive bunch.

Approaching my fortieth birthday, I realize that very shortly I will no longer be able to call myself 'young'. Somehow, being young and in one's thirties is one thing, but being forty and being called 'young' is just wrong. Not that I believe that I'm suddenly jumping to 'old', either. I've known people in their seventies and eighties who are not 'old', as well as people in their thirties who absolutely are. 'Old' is all about one's attitude towards life: have you given up and given in, or not? Are you still alive, or just holding space?

I'm glad to no longer be 'young' as well. I wouldn't go back to being in my twenties for anything, though it was certainly fun the first time around. But this, here, now, this life is good. I know my own strengths, and I've learned to compensate somewhat for my weaknesses. I know what I like to do, and I know who I like to spend time with. My priorities are more clear than they've ever been. But there's still the question: if I'm neither 'young' nor 'old', what is this? 'Middle-aged' sounds really dreadful, surely we can do better than that.

I am satisfied that my biggest legacy to the world, besides my daughter, will be the afghans I have made. I even get a dorky kick out of thinking of someone holding an afghan of mine a hundred years from now and calling it 'valuable', or even 'quaint'. I mourn the fact that fiber arts are not the longest lasting of all things (I recently saw a Bog People exhibit that mentioned this, an interesting reminder), but then I remember that I've tended to use wool-acrylic blends, and I feel that the fossil fuels expended will go to some good, after all.

And as dreary as this thinking of my legacy sounds, I do believe that I have plenty of time to make a lot more afghans. Maybe some sweaters, even, or hats. And socks: I cannot pass from this good Earth without learning to make socks. Ah: there's still time. I am so not old.


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