Monday, October 14, 2013

'Tis a Gift . . .

A week ago Saturday I stood in the meeting house of a Shaker village. The building is acoustically perfect. After the crowd had left, my husband and I stayed behind. He began to sing, and I realized that I wanted to sing in that place of perfection. I stood in the center of the room (the sweet spot, if you will) and I sang any hymn that came to mind. One of the staff came from across the road to see what was going on, and I apologized. She told me it was lovely and that was what had drawn her there.

My husband and I continued to sing, and a group of visitors came in to listen. I didn't stop singing, because I wanted to sing. 

Singing used to be my primary form of communication with my own heart. Over the years, I let it fall to the wayside. I'm not sure why or how that happened. Maybe it was just the cumulative affect of all the struggles to get through each day. Maybe it was one too many critics - internal and external. Maybe it was my need for perfection, or my belief that I couldn't sing without an audience. Who knows. What I'm learning now is that I can sing for myself - for my own enjoyment. And if it's not always perfect, that's okay too, because as emily wierenga wrote recently:

In his memoir, All is Grace, Brennan Manning recalls words that Brother Dominique Voillaume said to him: “You are on the threshold of receiving the greatest grace of your life. You are discovering what it means to be poor in spirit. Brother Brennan, it’s okay not to be okay.”

It's okay not to be okay. What a relief.



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