Saturday, August 25, 2012

frequent the temples of our hearts

In a spurt of procrastination, I've been perusing XKCD once again.
This is beautiful. I'm just in love with it.

Frodo was surprised to see letters written in the common tongue while journeying through Mordor.

Yes. Week One of school, and already procrastination has set in.

Syllabus week is usually hailed with great joy and gladness by my peers. 
But syllabus week is where I encounter the fact that my classes are going to be difficult and I spend the whole time thinking: how little will I be able to get away with in this class?
Which is never my mentality throughout the rest of the year, but during syllabus week, I'm measuring up my schedule, sitting in each class thinking: oh gosh can I do this? And interiorly dying. Hard work, as I know I've mentioned before (and I'll mention again) is not my cup of tea. Hard work is--well--hard. I like easy work. 
Easy work is much better than hard work. And you look a lot better while doing it.

 But I guess it's not as satisfying [she admits begrudgingly], and you don't learn quite as much doing easy work than hard work. And you discover a lot more beauty doing hard work.

For example: our choir director told me at the beginning of last rehearsal: "Oh, Renée, sorry I forgot to  tell you sooner, but you'll be singing alto this semester."


When learning a psalm last semester, Dr. Choir Director discovered that my lower range is actually my vocal strong suit. He murmured something about being an alto in disguise, but the subject was dropped.

And the next time it was picked up was when he dropped that little vital tidbit of information in rehearsal the other day. 
So, goodbye to sitting back and live-texting Denise the entire first choir rehearsal of the year, and hello to the alto section and learning how to harmonize. 
Remember that one time I was really good at sight reading harmonies? Yeah, me neither. Remember that part when I was talking about hard work? Right. So remember that saying about putting your money where your big mouth is? Okay here we go.
In fact, it was one of the most beautiful choir rehearsals of my life. I was on the same page as all the newbies--they were learning entirely new music on the fly, and I was making like a struggle-bus through the alto parts. It's bizarre singing a harmony when you're used to singing the melody.

But the alto lines of songs are beautiful. They're this warm, rich heart of a song. The alto line exists to make the harmonies that only make sense all together. Altos exist for the choir as a whole. But it was only when I was singing alto that I discovered the strange and yet mournfully beautiful melody they sing on their own. It was like unlocking a secret world in the midst of a favorite familiar song.

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