Wednesday, April 11, 2012

... a lifetime is not enough for music

Sometimes I see an event advertised and I think to myself Self, I'm not exactly sure what this is all about, but for some reason I think it'd be a great idea if we went and checked it out! Which I take as some sort of a Diving Intervention thing. Which can easily be confused with a The Devil Made Me Do It thing, as in heyyy! I've got this bottle of Tequila Rose and I think it'd be a great idea if we played Up and Down the River with it! One leaves you refreshed and invigorated; the other leaves you heaving in a bucket until 3:30 the following afternoon, not caring at all about the crusted mess at the end of you hair.

So when I saw The Rose Ensemble was going to be at Young Auditorium in Whitewater, Wisconsin, I totally didn't know what they were, what they did, or what it was all about.... but something told me I had to check it out.

I think it was this statement that sold me: "The Rose Ensemble reawakens the ancient with vocal music that stirs the emotions, challenges the mind, and lifts the spirit." Well, now. If that's not something that spurns interest...

Holy Shitake! Who knew I loved late 1800 Shaker settlement music?! And I'm not even kidding.

Look, I know nothing about singing. Nothing at all. But I know when my spine trembles from the deep, rich sound of a man's voice that reaches into the depths of my soul. I know that man can sing.

I know when an unassuming woman opens her mouth and lets out the songs of angels and the room starts to glitter and shine. I know that woman can sing.

I know when a fiddle mourns and a guitar prances and I know when a man playing a bass forgets he's on stage with hundreds of people staring at him. I know I'm witnessing something so beautiful I can hardly swallow down a breath.

The songs came from their CD called And Glory Shone Around which is described as "a tapestry of early American spiritual songs, ballads and dances." And what a rich tapestry it was! There was original Shaker music from 1893 (Give Good Gifts) and a Traditional Scottish Gaelic Milling Song (Seinn O-Oran Luaidh) and the song that WILL be played at my funeral which was listed in the program as Niel Gow's Lament on the Death of his 2nd Wife.

But it wasn't all slow, sad songs. There was a song from during the temperance movement called King Alcohol. Had us all cracking up!

I would definitely go see them again. In fact, I haven't stopped talking about them since I saw them and only wish they had more samples on their website.

I realized that I'm (1) jealous I have no musical talent like this amazing group of people and (2) was totally put on this planet to appreciate amazing musical talent. And then I wondered why on earth I don't go out and check out more events that I know nothing about. I see things advertised on posters at the local coffee shop, in the paper, splashed across Facebook - and it looks interesting, unique, fun -- and I want to go, but then something holds me back. Fear, I suppose.

I will feel out of place, like an intruder. A few weeks ago the church down the street from us held a benefit dinner, and the menu sounded tasty. The logical side of me said, "good food at reasonable prices, they'll raise money and you won't have to do dishes!" But the scared, insecure part of me said, "you're going to walk in and they're going to take one look at you and know you're not Baptist!"

What do I bring? Do I bring money? How much? Can I come late? Or is there an actual start time? Are kids allowed? Or will I seem like a perv if I show up without any kids? And do I need to shave?

The thing is, every time I've gone out on a limb and went someplace I knew nothing about it's always been okay. In fact, it's always turned out more than okay. I usually end up chiding myself for even considering chickening out and not going. Think about what you would have missed? And I've always learned something. Always. I experienced something I wouldn't have known about otherwise. I come back appreciating people a little more. I come back with a better understanding of the world I live in. And I come back with the knowledge that there is so very, very much to learn in our world, and I best get busy finding out everything that's out there because life is short - and I just cannot imagine living an entire life and not bearing withness to the truly remarkable gifts

Might I suggest, if you're wanting to experience new things, that you check out your local theatre as a first (and must) stop. And if you're around Whitewater, Wisconsin you simply must experience everything Young Auditorium has to offer - because it will blow your mind. And if you're nervous about going alone, give me a call, I'll be happy to join you. Just be warned, I probably won't shave my legs for you.

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