Back when Susan Boyle first came to my attention I wrote my thoughts out on her and her music. One part saying:
Every one assumed that since Miss Boyle was lacking beauty and glamor that she couldn’t possibly have anything of worth. Like Grizabella’s ( And who would ever suppose that that -Was Grizabella the Glamour Cat!) plaintive reflections in Memory from Cats. “I can smile at the old days – I was beautiful then”. Beauty and youth so worshiped and so transitory, the real beauty is the soul and the song and they only becomes more beautiful, more real and more powerful with age. The overwhelming interest in this woman and her moment in the spotlight is driven by more than the fantastic performance, while her voice is really tremendous, I think the shame and hope we simultaneously experience in her performance is the real force. Shame for understanding so well the harsh judgment of her appearance and hope that we all can have that moment where we are judged on something more substantial.
For now Miss Boyle is enjoying her success, she has gone home and the children of her village cheer for her in the street and her parish (yes, a Catholic Parish — had to toss that in there) gave her a standing ovation when she came to mass this past Sunday. I hope like Grizabella, Susan Parker is chosen as “the one” – that she wins her contest and sees much success in the future.
You can imagine how delighted I was tonight to see this:
Honestly, her voice is shaky at the first. You can even see in her face that she realizes she doesn’t have the breath and diaphragm control that she needs to put under those notes. “Memories” is one of those ghastly songs that hops right on sustained tones and if you even slightly miss-pitch it you either have to bend the note or let it go (as you can hear her bend it on that first note). Susan’s nerves absolutely kill her start. I can’t even imagine the pressure she is under. Heavens! I feel queasy singing in front of a parish with maybe 100 people; if 100 million people were waiting to hear me sing I think I wouldn’t even make it onto stage without barfing all over myself. But, she pulled it out magnificently by the end. Even on the second stanza she was able to reorient her breathing and by the last she could belt it out with all the abandon that served her so well in her initial performance.
I really hope to see more of her. Her story and her voice make me happy.
Hannah looked like an angel. Seeing her in the dress made me so very glad that I worked up the nerve to do it and so glad that my husband was persistent and encouraging.
Ashley and I drove Hannah to the parish early so we could gets a pew and make sure everything was in place. In our parish the First Communicants give each other little favors, holy cards, little candies, it is a very sweet tradition and makes the day even more special. We made little boxes and put a little tulle bag with mints and Tootsie-roll minis in each one.
Kyle brought the other children a little after us.
We got to the parish none too early. It was already filling up and we were happy just to get a pew. We passed my mother on the way there and Babchia and granddad had already arrived with Uncle David and cosines Logan, Shelby and Shane.
The first communicants processed in together. They were all so lovely.
One thing I like about how our parish does first communion is that we have a professional photographer take pictures of the actual reception. This means parents aren’t scrambling to get their pictures while no one gets to see a thing.
After the Mass we have a reception in the parish hall:
Babchia took Hannah outside to get some pictures and Father Antony was there. I love this picture.
We all had a happy day, everyone is so proud of Hannah.
Some days I get to feeling a little out of sorts. Nothing in particular will be wrong, no tragedy on the horizon, but I will still feel a slight desperation born of knowing how much I have to do and how little time I allow myself to do all those things. I have a tendency at times to a dark mood where I find myself clutching at sunbeams and frustrated with my inability to catch them.
It is on those days that something happens to remind me of the importance of trajectory over velocity. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow I may be going as long as I am going in the right direction and no amount of speed will get me where I am going if I am not heading the correct way. So a dear friend will visit and bring her children, my husband will make a special trip to the store to pick up something I forgot that only affect me (coffee filters), a child will wake up with a happy smile and hug for mommy and the clouds will part for a moment or two and make me relax enough to remember who I am and who I want to be becoming.
Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.
Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behaviour; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.
Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.
Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.
Only for today, I will devote 10 minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.
Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.
Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices.
Only for today, I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.
Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good Providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.
Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for 12 hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life.
I have posted this before, but today I needed the reminder. The sunbeams are there to enjoy and to savor, but they can not be captured in our hand, only remembered in our heart and reflected back out in the love we share with one another.
Hannah’s first confession is on Saturday. This is a big event for her and she is excited about it. She worked very hard to get her Act of Contrition memorised for CCD yesterday. Nothing like waiting to the last moment to push things into high gear, but she did it. Christopher was the ideal big brother working with her in the car all the way from here to Holy Rosary. He would read it slowly and she would say it back. He was patient, kind and supportive – can I cross my fingers and say that he might be maturing a wee bit?
This has been a very unusual spring, a very derailed Lent, and an almost overshadowed Easter.
Yesterday the weather was dreadful, there was heavy rain and hail, deceptive sun-breaks and then more bad weather. Today the weather has been slowly lifting and the sun is creeping out from behind the clouds and tomorrow promises to be a fine day. Spring has snuk up on me. The little blossoms have been there, the snow drops and the crocuses and the daffodils and the tulips have all had their turn. My favorite lilacs are just starting to appear. It is in these small, little things that the truest beauty is. These little treasures are so easy to miss when the weather is foul and things aren’t going well, but they are always there just the same.
Monday we went to the Dr’s office for a quick ultra-sound and discovered that we had an anembryonic pregnancy, it is also called a blighted ovum. Basically everything developed fine except the baby.
It was such a sad thing looking at the screen with the kind of smooshed looking sac and where the little baby should have been there was nothing, no heart beat, no little arms or legs, no head and spine curled safely and securely inside me, nothing, just an empty space.
nothing is just such a horrible reality. It creates such a disconnected sense of feelings. I feel like there is a well of grief and sorrow trapped inside my head that I can’t let out. I am afraid to be around anyone too much because I feel like this dam will break suddenly and without control. A week ago I was dreaming of little fingers and smooshy noses and a soft bundled nursling. But it was all just dreams, nothing of substance. The reality is that my body was every bit as tricked as my mind, so I have all the discomfort of miscarriage without the loss of the baby and I can’t for the life of me figure out if that is better or worse. It is a loss where nothing was lost except the hope for something that didn’t happen.
Yesterday we travel out to the coast. Some days I am very well organized and have everything I need, plan for contingencies and all goes smoothly. That was not yesterday. I totally spaced bringing a change of clothing for the children, but thankfully the beach house had a washer and dryer. I also managed to run Hannah’s chap stick through the wash… *sigh* I guess I have to blame pregnancy hormones for making me a complete twit.
Last fall I was called and interviewed by U.S. Catholic for on an article they were working on about autism. It was really a fun experience. I also wrote a small companion piece for the article. Both the article and my little piece are up at U.S. Catholic’s website.
We have also gotten to the official “announcement stage” of our newest little one. We will be having a baby in late October. As you can imagine the children are all overjoyed. I am still feeling that slightly dreamy ‘overwhelmed’, but am I overwhelmed by how wonderful it is to be adding a new life to our home and all the little things that bringing a new baby into the world mean.
I think my brother-in-law said it best yesterday. “I know your kids mean everything to you guys”. And they do. There is nothing we give up, nothing we “miss out on” that could possibly matter more than our houseful of laughing, crying, dancing, playing, occasionally fighting and always loving and beloved brood.