“You don’t have to have a solo voice to be in a choir,” he said. “In fact, there is something about a choir that brings together imperfections in the voices and uses them to make something new, like an infusion of different kinds of tea leaves. It can be quite beautiful.”
This is said by a minor character in the book, but struck me as so true, and as important to the story on many levels.
Annabel is a wonderful book. I’m not quite finished, but I definitely recommend it. Hauntingly beautiful and tender, it tells the story of a child born both male and female in a Labrador coastal village. Kathleen Winter’s sensitive portrayal of the child as he grows is a masterwork. An incredible first novel.
Aside: Our choir director always brews a pot of tea on Sunday mornings with (at least) two different types of leaves. I had never thought of this as a metaphor for the combining of voices in song!
Browsing through some old starred posts in my RSS reader, I came across this at Civilization of Love:
Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is,
Attributed to Pedro Arrupe, S.J.
than falling in Love in a quite absolute way.
What you are in love with,
What seizes your imagination,
Will affect everything.
It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning,
What you will do with your evenings,
How you will spend your weekends,
What you read, what you know,
What breaks your heart,
And what amazes you in joy and gratitude.
Fall in love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
Counsel 4 (from Counsels on Discernment) speaks “Of the profits of self-abandonment, which one should practice inwardly and outwardly.” In particular, these words struck a chord:
People ought never to think too much about what they could do, but they ought to think about what they could be…We ought not to think of building holiness upon action; we ought to build it upon a way of being, for it is not what we do that makes us holy, but we ought to make holy what we do….as we are holy and have being, to that extent we make all our works holy, be it eating, sleeping, keeping vigil, or whatever they may be. (emphasis added)
In my current vocation as wife, mother, and keeper of the home, it is easy to bemoan the sameness, the drudgery, the lack of concrete results in so much of how I spend my day.
Kathleen Norris’ little book The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and Women’s Work
speaks exactly to this. She compares women’s work to liturgy…acts that are repeated and that can have a contemplative aspect that is often overlooked. Acts that can be transforming and holy.
I haven’t come across my copy in our unpacking yet, but I’m due to read it again. It’s slim, at only 89 pages, but an inspiring read for all who mother.
The first part of this book
is called “Counsels on Discernment” and are conversations that Eckhart had with young men who asked him about things as they sat at “collation” (meals).
Counsel 1 is titled “About True Obedience” and I have been thinking about this for the past couple of days. In particular
In true obedience there should be no trace of “I want it so, or so,” or “I want this or that,” but there should be a pure going out from what is yours. And therefore, in the best of all prayers that a man can pray, there should not be “Give me this virtue, or that way of life,” or “Yes, Lord, give me yourself, or give me everlasting life,” but “Lord, give me nothing but what you will, and do, Lord, whatever and however you will in every way.” (emphasis added)
So how does this play out in real life? Does the Lord know what is on my heart, those things that are burdening me and that I talk to him about on a regular basis? Should I stop naming them and asking for resolution?
Perhaps I name them, and ask that his will be done. That I will accept whatever he places before me in these situations. And be obedient to his will.
“I’m working on my five year plan. I just need to pick a font.”
— Chuck in “Chuck“