Saturday, July 2, 2016

No Logical Explanation

No photo to attach here for many reasons.  Main one, I haven't painted for a few weeks, and since Mom died, I haven't finished and signed anything worth my sense of pride. Oh sure, tiny areas and bits on the canvas window I like, here and there, but overall?  my painterly sense of pride seems to be on hold.  And, perhaps, I shouldn't be blogging at all if I have nothing to show as a painter, but for some reason, I feel a need to type-expound again, to sort, to think, to maybe recharge my tired brain.

Today, Children, we shall talk about our "sense-of-pride".  I know, I know, we have touched on this subject before, but since my own SOP is filed somewhere between "just do it" and "where do I start?", I feel a ramble is in order. 

I, along with around 50 other participants, have just come out of a 5 day singing workshop.  Hosted by the Victoria Philharmonic Choir, and under the teaching direction of Peter Butterfield, Sarah Fryer and Gary Relyea.  It was an intense immersion kinda thang.  We sang from mid afternoon until 9:30pm.  We learned Bach's Magnificat, Pergolesi/Durante Magnificat, and a few other songs.  We, were given only 5 days to learn the music, then to perform it on the 5th day in two concerts.  I think about that accomplishment that I just conquered.  If someone handed me those scores ten years ago, told me I would learn them in 5 days, then sing them in two concerts on the 5th day, I'd laugh an out loud.. " YEAH RIGHT..AS IF!!! "  But it happened, and I managed to still be singing on the last bar's note and beat, so yay me.

This isn't to say it wasn't beyond my capabilities, it well may have been just that.  I miss Mom telling me "why do you do this to yourself?"  when I gasp over the phone to her, telling her I made it.  I miss being able to tell her how I feel.  Yes, Mom, I am exhausted, and sorry I haven't shampooed your carpets yet, but I just experienced something that was beyond what I imagined I could do.  It's not just about how well I can do this kind of singing, it's a giant palette of other things that went into the final product, and I do feel like signing it, I do.  My SOP feels pretty good.

Mom's right, tho, why do I do this?  I have mountains of projects waiting to be finished.  I am so far behind, I've let Husband G go hacking in my garden.  Wow, now that's busy.  I am still in the adjusting phase of blending our kitty family, which is working out fine.  Other than Grandpa Max, my geriatric Himalayan who needs extra attention, some meds, little chairs and stools to help him jump up, next feature added to the house may be one of those motorized seats to go up and down the stairs.  Awe, poor Ol'Magzeee, he is an amazing force of kitty nature.   Both Gerry and I have become earnest caregivers, pampering and fussing over him, hoping to extend Max's long life from 20 to 25, or 20 and a half, either could become a reality.  I know that this is insane to others who don't have pets, or have had pets who got old and euthanized them before they dropped 20 grand (slight exaggeration) on extending the pet life another 6 months.  But it is really about love.  Love is not measured by logic, simple as that.

Okay, back to sense of pride, and singing.  Maybe this is the same kind of thing as why I am being so intent on keeping Max alive, free of pain and discomfort, that endless energy that happens without any logical explanation.  I admit, I nearly cancelled out of Summer Voices this time.  My logical thinking kept telling me I can't do that, not right now, don't be stupid, Mary Ann, you can't fit that in right now.  So, I got a second opinion from my husband, and he said to do it if I want to, so I did it.  Not because I wanted to, but I didn't feel like I didn't want to, so I went.  The mountain was there for me to climb, I put on my hiking boots and hit the trail, so to speak.

Right from the start, these 5 days were a blessing of joy.  I don't think I had time to listen to my SOP (sense of pride) voices.  I can't expound enough on the wonders of a good teacher.  Someone who has a vision of their own, and the energy to focus on that vision, knowing the limited time to accomplish it, and how to get the very best out of the one's who have to play the part in that vision, that being our voices.  It's a separate thing from our sense of prides, our egos.  Those things are only for us to discipline.  The good teacher gives us the direction to follow, and ways to maximize what we have brought in our vocal instrument.  An excellent teacher looks at us as equals (even tho it doesn't take a lot of intelligence to hear we aren't all equal) and knows how to guide us into a place where we feel really wonderful about what we are doing.  How we manage that within our own wobbly wagon called sense-of-pride calls us to be thoughtful and self reflecting.  I know how lucky I am to be taught by Peter Butterfield and Sarah Fryer and Gary Relyea this past Summer Voices 2016.

I admit, I have a hard time feeling like I have done enough.  I look at Max and wonder how I can do more.  I wish I could have been a better and more patient daughter.  Even knowing I committed more time than most daughters in the world would for their moms, I could have been better.  I know I could paint better.  I know I could be a better mom and wife.  I never feel like I am enough.  Even on days when I feel pretty good, am happy with all the singing I have done, there is a drop eventually, that not-enough vacuum that sucks me back down.   But I know this is all part of who I am, and if it makes me stay ambitious enough to be better, that's okay too.  There is no logic in this.  It's all about love.  The love and passion of those who compose music that has lasted for centuries, and still inspires love in those who deliver it.  There is no logic in the change in the air when I climb out of all that life stuff that makes my head ache, that sudden lift out of the ache that I quickly forget.  There is no logic in the human energy that embraces us as one when we stand to sing.  There is a lot of logic I am sure in the music notes and timing, saying the words right in other languages, those are logical things we have to learn.  But that other stuff??  That surprise of joy, that sense of wonder above and beyond our fragile sense of pride that makes life such a pure and wonderful thing to live.  It's love in the purest form.

As I type, I have the distant ring of Bach music playing softly in my inner ear.  The remains of all those moments that felt better than right, they keep replaying in my mental audio.  I long for more to sing, more to paint, more to love.  And it all waits, I am blessed!

Happy Saturday!


  1. The best refocusing thing I've heard for a long time was "what are you doing to keep yourself interesting?" Sounds like you are doing fine; a participant rather than a spectator.
    My all time favourite though is from my mother "a job worth doing is worth doing badly" with the implication that the reward is in the effort.

    1. oooooooh, like both of those quotes a lot, Jean... thanks!!!