Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Making a Joyful Noise

One of the things I've always liked most about living alone is that it's a license to be more myself than I can be when living with someone else.  Living alone means I can get up at 3AM and watch old movies with the sound on when I have insomnia.  It means I can have a peanut butter and mashed banana sandwich for dinner if I want to.  If I feel the urge to see Katmandu, I can make the reservations and throw a few things in a carry-on bag.  And if I want to sing at the top of my lungs, only the cat objects.

I don't mean to imply that my singing is horrible.  I can carry a tune.  However, my voice doesn't have much of a range and it's never been trained, and my repertoire leans heavily toward old Protestant hymns, since that's most of what I sang while growing up and during my stint in our church's junior high choir.  Various roommates of both sexes have suggested - politely or not - that I confine my efforts to the shower.  With the bathroom door shut.  (Rusty just howls.)

I haven't been much of a churchgoer since junior high - I actually consider myself to be an agnostic - but my parents' church recently hired me to do the monthly updates for their website, so I've occasionally been attending services to keep the pastor and church staff happy.  A few weeks ago, one of my parents' acquaintances there tried to recruit me for the choir.  I explained that my voice would not be much of an asset to them, but she introduced me to the choir director who said, "It's just about making a joyful noise."  Well, hey, I can do that.

Today I went to my first choir practice and was astonished when the altos and tenors actually squabbled over which section I should join.  Mind you, the average age in this church is hovering around 70, so most of the other voices in the group are probably past their prime, but I was still touched after the practice when the woman standing next to me said I have a beautiful alto.  Well, no, I don't, but being encouraged to sing is a pleasant change.  Now I can warble my head off on Wednesdays and Sundays without antagonizing even the cat.

“He who sings scares away his woes.” ~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

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