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.

08 July 2006

"Crying in the Chapel"

[Happy Birthday, Erica!]

Maybe it's just that I'm not an Elvis fan, but this one isn't doing it for me. I did try to use that to some extent while singing it: can I sing something well, give it depth and feeling, even if I personally don't like it much? Maybe so. But maybe not. That's one of the things I think I'm not getting about singing: the idea of selling the song, performing it more in the sense of acting, theatre, not just a pleasant voice singing a pretty tune with meaningful words.

It's this kind of thing that makes me wonder about learning, about the brain. How stretchy is my brain? How much new stuff can I take in, can I learn? How far could I go, now? It seems obvious that thinking and learning are 'use it or lose it' things. We can practice trying on new ideas, rolling them about in our heads, on our tongues: what happens? Does it taste good, does it taste true? This is how new ideas are digested.

Acting is a physical skill: Physicality driven by emotional content, and the coordination of the two, plus the chutzpa to be vulnerable in front of an audience, and the creativity to try different interpretations until the whole story makes sense. What a juggling act. I've always wanted to learn to juggle, and I've tried. I can do it for about twenty seconds, and then things get carried away. On the other hand, I can 'sell' things on a very personal level, I can persuade a person of my sincerity, commitment, friendship, or love.

I do know that I'm more tired these days, and that can't be discounted when it comes to learning new things. My energy level is not what it was. Still, when I run--taking an iPod break these days for my runs--I sort through all sorts of things. Ideas and plans settle down a bit more, shake off the dander, lose some weight.

Right now, just for kicks and giggles, I'm going to assume that I am capable of figuring out new tricks. Being exhausted will make it trickier to lift the veil, to confront my demons or my fears, but what the hell: I know that I'd regret not trying.


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