Posts Tagged ‘The Road Less Traveled’

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

#10 Get Lost

January 31, 2011

Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.” ~ Robert Frost

For many years, my father drove from our small village to the big city to work or visit friends and family.  At some point, he started to think about all the roads and neighborhoods he passed along the way, and he decided that he would begin to explore them on his drive home. I thought that was pretty cool of my old dad, and it often comes into my mind when I am driving on Route 116 or 30.

Which brings us to goal #10: take the road less traveled.  In retrospect, this was an underlying theme of some of my goals for last year. Get on the bus.  Go to the pow wow. Attend services at a mosque or a synagogue. Take a yoga, tai chi, mindful meditation class. Learn a new language. Get lost in the neighborhoods you pass every day.

J.R.R. Tolkien said, “Not all who wander are lost,” but I think I might get lost sometimes this year.