Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Neitz’

Becoming A Woman for Octaves

February 12, 2011

“I bring to my leadership an understanding of the difference between singing and silence. People need living wages and safe working conditions, but they also need to cultivate the many interests and loves that make them unique. They need leadership that supports a joyful and enriching life beyond mere existence. I know that a woman for others must also be a woman for octaves; true leadership gives others a life of song.” ~ Sarah Neitz

When the kids were younger, we encouraged them to participate in various choirs.  (Okay, “encouraged” = “forced” in some instances) All three of them really can sing, and I loved going to their concerts. I still love listening to them sing anytime – in church, in the kitchen, in the car.

I grew up in a house where we sang all the time. When we were first married, it took Steve by surprise when I would break out in song while doing the dishes.  He’s used to it now.  Our children grew up in a house where we sang all the time, too. Recently, Jack mentioned that one songs on Gaelic Storm’s “What’s the Rumpus” reminds him of something that you might start to sing at a Hart Family gathering, and everyone would join in.  Like “Eddie Kucha-Kacha-Kama-Tosa-Nara-Tosa-Noma-Sama-Kama-Wacky-Brown,” an all-time favorite, or almost any song from “Joy is Like the Rain.”

My friend Chris originally suggested that we join the Civic Chorus.  She talked about how much fun it would be to be a part of making the music, to actually experience and hear the difference that your part plays in something that is so much bigger then you could possibly create by yourself. I was sold! But Monday night, when it was time to go, I couldn’t eat dinner because I was so nervous.

I am so glad I went!  It was so much fun! My friend Jess was there in the alto section, and she acted as my “choir buddy,” introducing me around, telling me where to sit, sharing her music. And not only are we going to sing for the spring concert, the Civic Chorus will be featured in the Fringe Festival, the local tie to the Gettysburg Festival, a huge celebration of music, drama and the arts held here in June.

The rest of the week was more challenging, mostly because I hit some wrong notes in trying to do what I think is the right thing. But I hope I am learning to become a woman for octaves and a woman for others.

“All God’s critters have a place in the choir /Some sing low and some sing higher/Some sing out loud on a telephone wire/And some just clap their hands or paws/Or anything they got.” ~ Bill Staines


“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

April 28, 2010

Harry Potter may be a strange, even controversial, theme for a Catholic Youth Ministry program event.  The Youth Leadership Team convinced me that we should hold a Tri-Wizard Tournament as our First Saturday activity this weekend.  It’s a BYOB (bring your own broom) event.  Indoor Quidditch, Scavenger Hunt through the Chamber of Secrets, Polyjuice Potion Charades, Capture the Horcrux, Muggles and Wizards…the ideas came fast and furious.  I am a little bit nervous, but it’s going to be fun.(I hope….)

Harry Potter has a wonderful, positive mesage.  If all you see is that it’s about magic or wizards, I think you miss the point.  Our daughter, Sarah, has often spoken of the Christian allegory of the books.  Last night I asked her if she would jot down a few of her thoughts for me.  I am sharing them with you today. (Did I mention my recessive gene for awesomeness?)

General Harry Potter Themes:
1.Love is the most powerful force in the world
2.Objective morality (there is good, there is evil)
3.There is a battle between good and evil
4. We must choose a side
5.We should choose the good
6. Those who choose the good do not fear death

Illustrative Quotes (all by Dumbledore)

“It is important to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then can evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated.”
Points: There is evil in the world. Humans cannot get rid of evil by themselves, but those of us who choose to side with the good must continue actively fight evil, even when it seems that we will fail, even when we do fail. We cannot give up hope.

“That which Voldemort does not value, he takes no trouble to comprehend. Of house-elves and children’s tales, of love, loyalty, and innocence, Voldemort knows and understands nothing. Nothing. That they all have a power beyond his own, a power beyond the reach of any magic, is a truth he has never grasped.”
Points: Good is stronger than evil. Even though evil is strong, stronger than us humans, it is doomed to lose this epic battle. Evil does not understand love, truth, and goodness (God), and although we are not as strong as evil, if we embrace love, truth, and goodness (God), we can fight evil, because love, truth, and goodness are stronger.

“Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love.”
Points: Love (God) is the one thing that can defeat Voldemort. There are parts of the series when Harry doubts the power of love, but when he finally decides to meet his death so that those who he loves won’t die, he makes the ultimate act of love, free of vengeance and selfishness, and this is what finally allows him to defeat Voldemort.

“To the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
Points: There is an afterlife. It’s a good thing if you have a “well organized mind.” “Organized mind” (as my Theology professor loves to point out – he’s a big fan of this quote) rings with the Platonic concept of a well-ordered soul – a soul that loves justice and can achieve true Happiness.

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
Points: We have free will. We are given the choice between good and evil, and it REALLY matters which side we choose. The Good guys (Harry and Dumbledore) stand for truth, love, and friendship and do not fear death. The Evil guys (Voldemort and the Death Eaters) stand for lying, hatred, and superiority and are scared as heck of death (Voldemort’s ultimate goal is to live forever, “death eater” connotes someone who is victorious over death). You can tell the difference between good and evil. You must choose a side. You should choose the good.

~ Sarah Neitz, University of Scranton, April 27, 2010