Measured Extravagance

2001-05-18 - 12:02 a.m.

Most of my search-engine referrals are spawned by people looking up poems or feminine hygiene products. (Sometimes the two even intersect - cf. Lucille Clifton's wishes for sons.) Occasionally I get a visit for "vintage peignoir" or "seafood salad."

My most amusing hit of the week, however, has been "bad Unitarians." It would have been especially appropriate earlier tonight, when I was contemplating skipping choir practice.

I'm glad I went, though. There's a piece our director wrote called "A Single Tear" in memory of "the martyrs of the American Civil Rights Movement" that features a lovely, spine-chilling ending - the choir softly sings the words "burning, burning" over and over again while a soprano soloist sings "we shall overcome" high above the chords - a song that I've heard dozens of times, but seems to me a new song entirely when I hear Susan's voice soar out above the murmur:

We shall overcome some day.
Oh, deep in my heart,
I do believe
we shall overcome some day.

Also, the director handed out music to another Ysaye M. Barnwell song called "Wanting Memories," to perform the day before Memorial Day. I hadn't even planned to attend that service, but the song is too cool, and the sermon looks promising, and I figure Dichroic and T. could very well use that morning to themselves anyway...

I think on the things that made me feel wonderful when I was young,
I think on the things that made me laugh, made me dance, made me sing.
I think on the things that made me grow into a being full of pride;
think on these things, for they are the truth.

And I am sitting here wanting memories
to teach me to see the beauty in the world through my own eyes.
I thought that you were gone but now I know you're with me;
you are the voice that whispers all I need to hear.
I know a "please," a "thank-you," and a smile will take me far,
I know that I am you and you are me and we are one.
I know who I am is numbered in each grain of sand.
I know that I've been blessed again and over again.

    - Ysaye M. Barnwell

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