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.

20 September 2007

"The World Stands Out on Either Side"

This is a strange little text to set a song in a hymnal--I'd expect this of Ned Rorem, my very favorite song composer from my college singing days, but not of the Unitarians. Darn them, always surprising me with their depths! The text is by Edna St. Vincent Millay, and the song itself is also less than typical. I'm not sure if I like it, but it does stick in my head somehow.

The world stands out on either side
no wider than the heart is wide;
above the world is stretched the sky
no higher than the soul is high.

The heart can push the sea and land
so far away on either hand;
the soul can split the sky in two
and let the face of God shine through.

On of my over-arcing themes of the last six months or so has been Giving Up. One of my friends tonight attempted to reframe this as 'Letting Go', and although the idea is similar, and the results may be identical, that's not the phrase that comes to mind. I've Given Up pretending that I'm not a mom and a housewife. So sterotypical! I am a caregiver where ever I go! Working outside the home? Sure! I love my job--as a massage therapist: let me ease your pain, my friend. I've crocheted a couple dozen full size afghans and countless baby afghans, admittedly my best and most lasting legacy at this point, besides my daughter, and the afghans will probably outlast her as well. Still on that same 'take care of you' theme, though.

This is not what I planned to Be when I grew up. I was thinking a doctorate in Computer Science, actually, or Math. And here I am, cooking dinner, doing laundry, saying 'no' to my daughter, picking up my husband from work when his bike gets a flat. It is good and important work, I know this, but it is not what I planned, and it has taken me a long time to even begin to just Give Up.

I'm still working on it, working on not being bitter or impatient, working on accepting my legacy and the value of what I do, and I think I've begun to really do it, really Give Up. Beginnings can feel very good sometimes. I'm taking a deep breath, and Giving Up all the time, now.

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At 11:12 AM, Blogger Duckasaurus said...

They don't call her Edna Saint Vincent Migod for nothing.


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