Thursday, December 8, 2011

"you can't worry if you're singing."

   It's 6 a.m.  I peer out the front door as I come down the stairs ... it's still full dark outside but I can see the new snow covering the step in the glow of Christmas lights from the other side of the house.  In the half-light of the window candles, I putter over the tea pot, and spooning the tea into the ball I notice it feels overly cold... colder than the 64 degrees I've been keeping my heater at this year to save some money. ($4.25 a gallon - sheesh!) When I glance at the heater the little yellow lights says 52, which means the power must have flicked last night. I peer out the big front window through the not-yet-sunrise darkness and see the huge spruces across the street, visible against the dark sky because of their newly snow-covered branches, swinging and tossing in an obviously mighty wind. the heater, fill the kettle, burner on high... I pull both throws around me and settle on the couch to watch the growing light illuminate our newly winterized world as the house slowly re-warms. I feel a small pang of guilt for our bird - parakeets ARE tropical.  Poor creature, what was I thinking?  
Blanketed - watercolor - 3" x 3"
   Snow removes the color from the landscape and replaces it with values, such that what was just yesterday a big blob of variegated green (those stately trees across the street) is now an intricate study in black and white with every every branch and twig limned by its perfectly sculpted cloak - 5" of heavy, wet loveliness. The colors of full summer are lovely, but the values of the winter landscape are truly, deeply beautiful. 
   Last night during the holiday concert, (we wouldn't have a "holiday" concert without Christmas, but we call it a holiday concert...) which was amazingly well attended (thank you supportive community!) one of the last pieces we sang was a counterpoint melody to Silent Night, and our director arranged it so that throughout four verses, first the counterpoint was introduced by itself by the men, second the women sang it as the men ooo-ed Silent night quietly underneath, third the men sang Silent Night against the women, and for the last time through, the entire chorus sang only the counterpoint and the audience sang Silent Night, led by Sue, our director. Well, when it was the audience's turn, they heartily started singing full voice, and all the beautiful voices around me on the risers filled with the counterpoint and I could just hear this amazing swelling of the entire building with perfect harmony and it was so overwhelmingly beautiful I started to choke up. Since any kind of decent singing effectively ends when choked up, I blinked back tears and looked down at my music. I struggled between trying to tamp down that feeling of all consuming joy and amazement, or to just enjoy the now - and feel it wash over me... but I wanted to sing too, to be a part of it, not a spectator. So I looked up at the big window at the back of the balcony, the one with four individual lights giving it a cruciform shape, and out into the deep blue of the night sky beyond the walls and started to mouth the words, focusing away from the emotion just enough to say the correct words with my croaky, choked up voice, but also listening outside of my self, so I could hear all the voices and our one big voice of sound of joy. Humans do amazing things.  Kind of like the crickets in spring. I bet some of them get choked up too.

1 comment:

  1. Pam, this series of yours ... the trees and snow ... are my favorites ... some day I plan to own a few! Happy Snowday! - Lissa