NaBloPoMo Day 6: Gardening, Reading, Watching, Singing

 We cleaned up the back yard for winter today, by which I mean Matt cleaned up the back yard today while I sat in my hanging chair wrapped in blankets and wearing gloves reading a book. My hands were on fire this morning (in addition to restless legs, I'm having a flare-up of carpal tunnel or something - a nerve conduction study is in my future) and my joints all hurt and my eye was twitching and he's leaving tomorrow for ten days and was feeling like he should do stuff before he went, so I... let him. My kitchen table is piled high with rosemary, thyme and sage (no parsley) for washing and tying up to dry, and I am nearly finished Billy Summers by Stephen King, of which I really liked the first half and the second half, well, I have some thoughts, to be discussed at a future date.

I feel like one of us is having the better time

Tonight we watched the end of Midnight Mass, by the same creator as The Haunting of Hill House and the Haunting of Bly Manor. I really liked all of them, but I think this might be my favourite. There are some standout performances (Samantha Sloyan, OMG), including some long and probably difficult monologues. The small island setting is striking and beautiful. It really shows how people can manipulate the Bible to mean literally anything they want it to. It's layered and bittersweet and has great characters. And the music is fantastic. I was surprised and a little freaked out at how my lapsed-Catholic self could recite parts of the Mass and remember the hymns word for word with very little prompting. There's one scene where residents of the village are walking through the streets to Easter Vigil with candles, collecting people as they go and singing Holy God We Praise Thy Name, a hymn I have both sung and played countless times. It was really beautiful if you ignored the pain and fear and horror and certain death at the end of it all.

It made me think of when my mom and dad would come visit on the week-ends when I was at university and my mom and I would go to church (when I was still doing that). Once a guy on our floor heard we were going and asked to come with us, which was a little weird because he was kind of a drinking, drugging, whoring douchebro, but he was really cute and mostly good-hearted about it so he got away with a lot, and he was Irish Catholic so I guess he had some vestiges of the same deep-seated guilt I was dealing with. He didn't realize the order of operations for Easter Masses, though, and I think he thought he was getting away with a shorter one and it was the super-long one, and he was loudly and humorously exasperated and relieved to be out on the walk back to campus, which was very amusing to my extremely devout mother (because it wasn't me, I guess).

It also made me realize again how much I don't miss church, but I do miss singing. I sang in the choir in my church growing up. I was the church organist for two years. I sang in the McMaster choir for four years, and sang in the choir director's church choir. I sang in the Carleton University choir when we moved to Ottawa. And now I only sing in the car, and I miss singing with other people. I went to a 613 Choir event with some book club friends just before Covid appeared, and had tickets for a second one that was supposed to be just after lockdown started. It was hugely fun - we did Queen songs, and I still do my harmony line for Fat Bottomed Girls every time it comes on.

Before heading to bed Matt said "I'm not sure how to ask this. This is the first time I've gone on a long trip and both kids are gone and you're going to be alone. Are you going to...sleep? See people? People are good, I think. You should see some." 

I don't know. Odds are good I will start cleaning out the storage closet downstairs and look up to find it's 3 a.m. I do badly when someone isn't here to tell me to go to bed. I guess we'll find out. 


Ernie said…
10 days is a LONG time. Wow. I died laughing at the I FELL ONE OF US IS HAVING THE BETTER TIME caption. The garage needs to be cleaned and the weather is cooperating today. Too bad I'm leaving at noon to go on a college visit with Mini. that leaves one of us. Wink, wink.

We once accidentally landed at the Easter Vigil mass because we were traveling and had to drive home from Virginia the next day. We had all the kids with us - Curly was maybe like 5 or 6 years old. For some cruel reason, maybe to keep everyone awake, they set the temperature in the church at like 58 degrees. It was long and I was freezing and I feel like I wanted to behave the same as the student who went with you to that mass if I could've gotten away with it.

I love that Matt is wondering if you will go to bed when he's gone. Good luck.
Do you want me to text you to tell you to go to bed? Because I totally will.

I haven't been to church in many years, but my favourite part was the hymns. Holy Holy Holy is so beautiful. Whenever I'm hiking, I always get How Great Thou Art in my head. Then sings my SOULLLLLLLLL...

When I was little, my favourite was Onward Christian Soldiers and I would famously sing it at the top of my lungs. I also do not have a great singing voice now, and I certainly didn't at age 4, so you can imagine the amusement of the Lutherans.
StephLove said…
I used to sing, not with others, but to the kids when they were little, pretty much anywhere. When we enrolled Noah in preschool, a mom came up to me and said, "I know you. You're the woman who sings to her little boy on the bus." I never do that anymore, but it's a fond memory.

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