Monday, September 21, 2009

on (not) singing

Normally, my mail doesn't make me cry. Normally. But today's mail was an exception. Today's mail contained the season brochure for The Toledo Masterworks Chorale, and it pressed on a tender spot in my spirit I have gone to great lengths to avoid over the past several years. This blog began as an effort to avoid that tender spot. And I'd done pretty well, as of late. But tender spots always seem to be found, somehow. Someone presses on them by mentioning the unmentionable, asking the unaskable, or mailing you a brochure that gets delivered right into your hands and says, "Hey—pay attention to me now, would you?"

We moved here nine years ago, leaving behind this fine group of semi-professional musicians with whom we had developed deep friendships and made incredible music for eight years. It was the first time since kindergarten that I had not been a part of a choir. I am still, nine years later, choir-less, and today, in particular, that makes me very, very sad.

In a season of life within which women already tend to feel every shred of their identity is laid on the altar of motherhood, it was particularly excruciating to take this part of my heart and lay it down, not knowing when or if it would ever be restored to me. Singing was not just a part of my identity, it was the entirety of who I thought myself to be. I loved singing choral music with a passion that nothing else—nothing else—in my life has ever even come close to. Passion deferred, I am discovering, makes the spirit sick.

Singing with the Chorale was a source of joy, of emotional outlet, of pride. It connected me with God and with others in a way few other things can. I ache for that, and there is nothing I can do about it. There is still, nine years later, no ram in the bush to spare this offering. And so today, thanks to the Chorale's 38th season, I am sitting here at my computer wiping tears and grieving this empty, achy place in my spirit that cannot be comforted by anything less than being a part of that glorious sound again, and again, and again.

Best wishes to the MWC for a fabulous season. Looks like fun. Wish I could be there.

Sing loud, old friends. Sing loud.

1 comment:

Jack Bunny said...

For what it's worth, I understand. I had a twelve year dry spell between theatre directing jobs.

I missed it terribly. Practually nothing satisfied that artistic itch in my soul.

In looking back, however, if I had continued, I likely would have never started writing, first as an outlet, and then as a passion.I would never have met people who shared that passion (hmmm. Seems you were one of 'em.) I would never have been led in many of the adventures I've experienced.

So ... I'm back to directing again. And I won't kid you, I love it. Still ... I remember reading somewhere that I should make an effort to be content wherever I am in life. I suppose it's one of those "can't see the forest for the trees" things ...

jb