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.

12 April 2006

"Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo"

This song is very bittersweet for me, I associate it with two of my aunts, both long dead. One of them, and I can't remember which, had a music box that played this. It's a very sweet and gentle little piece, and it makes me sad.

I'm struggling with my flaws. No, that's not an accurate description: I'm struggling with my dark places. I look at myself sometimes and I think: am I stuck? I make assumptions about what I can and cannot do, and I sense that some of these are based on nothing more than habit. Is this true for all of these things? I question my ability to have the willpower and strength to find new pathways for my actions and re-actions, or to do that hardest thing of all: be flexible in the moment to chose the right path, easy or difficult or somewhere in between.

When I am dealing with my own jealousy, or anger, or frustration, I do one of three things. I may become a martyr, which never lasts for very long, since I have no patience with it. But sometimes this is still a knee jerk reaction, and it slips through my guard. Oh, poor me, look at what my life has brought me, alas. I guess there's no hope.

Just shut up! The second, and thankfully more likely reaction is to try to accept the results of my choices, usually a whole long series of choices that have brought me to this moment. I keep breathing, keep going down all the corridors of choice in my head, how to react, what feels fair, various rationalizations sometimes, back track and try again, keep breathing. Sometimes this helps a lot, it does calm me. I think of new viewpoints that help ease my frustration. Time also helps with this option: sometimes I just need time to get over it, for goodness sake.

Sometimes this also seems like a copout. The choice involving the most energy and bravery sometimes seems to be the most creative: how can I change this situation, adapt it, warp it? This sometimes means that I get what I want, sometimes it means that I must actively seek a lot more information, and this may result in finding an extremely different angle to view the landscape. It always involves more from me: more intelligence, more leaps of faith into my own process and abilities. Because it can involve so much, I don't think that it's always the right choice, either. Practicalities of life and time do intrude, and it's not inappropriate to have those as boundaries.

Through it all, I hate the moments where my chest hurts with trying to breathe, when it's just hard. Sometimes then, it's good to sleep.


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