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.

10 January 2007

"These Hands"

I brought this song into my voice lesson today. I had sung it yesterday (and not blogged, alas), and I had some trouble switching between the high and low registers. This song goes back and forth from high to low the whole way through. My teacher--while appreciating that each of these songs is an exercise for me in sight reading, song learning, and other technical matters--thought that this was the worst song that she had ever heard. I think I've seen way worse in my travels through the Reader's Digest oeuvre: this one is simply forgettable.

So many of my near and dear projects are handwork in some way. Certainly my job as a massage therapist is, and I still, fourteen years in, love my job. I play piano, something I have desired for longer than I have done it, something I do entirely for myself (I must mention, though, that my lifelong goal of having people sing along while I play 'Come Sail Away' was realized last weekend. I'm not sure what to shoot for, now.). I play guitar as well, and now mandolin, too. I crochet, I knit, I sew: endlessly attempting to leave some sort of physical legacy, something that will last longer than I will, something that will let those I love remember me. Also, something to do with my very restless hands.

These days I'm doing more of the cooking, as part of a New Year's resolution that we will eat better and more interesting food. Every time I slice an onion I remember a professional cellist friend of mine once telling me about being at a symphony rehearsal when someone broke a glass. Everyone's hands were in the air immediately. When your life is your hands you're very very careful. I cut the onions with all the attentiveness I can muster, though I still suspect that I inevitably will cut myself.

It feels like another giving up that I'm preparing for: someday something will happen, accident or age, and the use of my hands will become more limited than I could wish. I hope it's age, since that seems to be something that sneaks up on one, more slowly than a developing pregnancy, but with the same inevitability. It would give me a little space to grow accustomed to my limitations.


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