About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

What we studied on Sunday.

The fourth Sunday of every month, we do not study a lesson from our manuals. Instead, we study one or more of the addresses from the most recent General Conference, as published in the Ensign, which is the magazine for adult members of the Church. In countries where English is not the native language, the contents are translated and are published as the Liahona.

One of the responsibilities of the stake president (like your bishop, for my friends who are Catholic) and his counselors, is to plan out a theme for each month, and to choose which lessons will support that theme, and to come up with teaching points which the teachers in each ward Relief Society and priesthood quorum should emphasize.

The theme for the fourth Sunday in February was Agency; the conference addresses which were chosen, were these: Stewardship ~ A Sacred Trust and Moral Discipline. And the points to be emphasized were as follows:

1. We must have the truth to exercise our agency wisely.
2. We must teach our children the truth rather than allowing the world to teach our children.
3. Moral discipline is the consistent exercise of agency to choose the right because it is right, even when it is hard.

I missed the lesson in class, because I am still struggling (a little) with my lungs. I spent Sunday School in the clerk’s office, tidying up Round I of the revisions to our visiting teaching. I spent a very small part of Relief Society in the library, getting the printouts copied for Bishop, the elders quorum president, the high priest group leader, my counselors, my compassionate service leader, and my visiting teaching coordinator. And then I went home, coughing; ate a little, had a lovely if sleep-wrecking nap, got up and tidied my inbox, pre-published Monday’s post, and started this one.

Did I read the lesson? Umm, that would be a no, until now. [Although I had attended Conference in October and read the addresses when they were printed in November, and I referenced “Moral Discipline” earlier this year in one of my posts, as well as an article I found in the footnotes, “Subversive Virginity”.] The late Elder Maxwell would call this being caught up “in the thick of thin things”.

One of the blessings of my current church calling is that it continually focuses my mind and heart on the need to serve others. And for me, as for the rest of you, it is a continual juggling act, and I drop my share of plates and balls and the occasional flaming torch.

This morning, I miss my kids. [This is not a whine, this is an observation.] I do not see any of them as often as I would like. They have turned out to be chosen to be remarkable women, whether because of parental example or in spite of it, and I love them dearly.

In the have-to-laugh-at-myself department, choir practice on Sunday went well. I am there for multiple reasons, some of them selfish. I love to sing. I love the Gospel. I love to perform. I do not have a solo voice. Singing opens up my heart, and not coincidentally, my pipes. My pipes are in need of opening. We started practicing “Beautiful Savior”, an arrangement which has a lovely descant during the third verse. And I brightly chirped, “Oh, I can play this on the recorder!”

So I came home with the sheet music, and last night I sat down to puzzle it out, because this arrangement has three flats, and I am a by-ear, seat-of-the-pants musician. I read music well enough to find my part when I sing, but I’m happier when I know what note I’m supposed to sing because I’ve heard it in context.

It’s been 25 years since I taught myself to play the recorder; I couldn’t remember how to do flats! And the descant just sat there on the page, thumbing its notes at me. So I put the recorder and the sheet music in the pile with BestFriend’s book that I borrowed, in the hope that I could noodle on her piano for a few minutes when I return the book.

But this morning, one of my first conscious thoughts was, “I wonder if I can find a fingering chart for the soprano recorder online?” Lo! and behold, I could. And did. And printed it off. I still want to noodle on a piano, to hear what the descant is supposed to sound like and to count out the timing (easier for me on the piano than on the recorder; no idea why). But now there is light at the end of the musical tunnel.

My friend Tan, who is Musical with a capital “M”, is probably grinning as she reads this. Ditto my friend Wanda, who is Musical and also a Friend [tee-hee].

OK, I’ll behave. Go make some beauty. Or some music. Or a joyful noise. Or a plate of brownies. And find somebody to share it with.


Jenni said...

I'll be honest that I didn't even know you could play the piano at all.

Bonnie said...

I miss you too. I know you like your space and only have a limited tolerance for short people now that you've raised five of your own, so I take what I can get. :)