Five Minute Friday: Rhythm

Koladera rhythm model

Koladera rhythm model (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, as a Catholic, you can probably guess where this is going. But you’d be wrong, though that was pretty tempting. But I had, really, no idea what I’d talk about for five minutes. Le sigh…

Our lives are filled with every kind of rhythm, and once you become attuned to it, there’s no going back. From the undercurrent of our body’s autonomic functions like breathing and heartbeat, to the surrounding beat of footsteps, car horns, and bird songs, the effect is a bit chaotic, but none the less rhythmic.

I’m hearing the wavering melody of a finch’s persistent song punctuated by the low drone of a mourning dove. The occasional cry of a Phoebe and sharp jabs of a Robin complete the avian quartet.

That’s just what I can identify without thinking too hard.

Stop for a while today, and listen. Whether it’s the rising and falling cadence of a down-the-hall boardroom meeting, the quirky chatter of a bevy of toddlers, or even the soothing whirr of your dishwasher, there’s a rhythm there.

Go on, feel the beat.


What’s Five Minute Friday?

A blog-prompt project dreamt up by LisaJo Baker, which you can read about here. The basic idea is that you spend five minutes of writing, generally unedited (I correct typos, WAY too OCD not to do that), on a prompt that she provides just after midnight via a tweet, then spread the word, and link up. Interested? Join up. Enjoy a delightful assortment by clicking on the picture to the right.

Today’s Five Minute Friday selection is also here!


Silent Night

No MusicThis is the first Christmas in over twelve years where I’m not playing the piano. I’m not sure that I like it.

At first, the idea of having the holidays off sounded like a dream come true. Catholic churches have a busy holiday schedule, because, unlike most Protestant denominations, there’s a whole lot more going on in the month of December (and the rest of the year, too) than the usual roster of Sunday services and the special Christmas service, which, since Christmas does fall on a Sunday this year, did make it a little easier.

I stopped playing back in September, and it’s left a real empty place in my life. I’m not going to the local church at all, due to issues that are not going to be talked about in this blog. But because I’m usually really involved in my congregation (even when I don’t play), just going to a different church bores me. Oh, I enjoy it, but I don’t feel like I’m a part of it, except as an intellectual exercise.

This is one area where living out in rural America stinks. There’s no closer Catholic church than ten miles away, and I have a real financial issue with driving so far to attend services several times a week. So I’m pretty much doing next to nothing. I am NOT joining a different denomination. It’s not where I’m at. It’s not what I want.

It really sucks.

Here We Go Again…

invitacion de bodaI’ve playing piano and organ, and helping sing for a wedding tomorrow afternoon. Weddings are always a beautiful thing, when it comes right down to it, but I’m usually not that excited about the preparations. Brides are fussy creatures, by nature, and they naturally want things to turn out well on such a special day. They’ve got ideas about what they want, but they’re not always too savvy about the specific rules that govern Catholic weddings, even if they are Catholic, and woe betide the bride who isn’t Catholic, but is marrying a Catholic groom in a Catholic ceremony! I just have to shake my head and pray a little bit more.

Tomorrow’s wedding is even more interesting! Not only is a non-Catholic bride marrying a Catholic groom in a Catholic ceremony, but she is “Anglo” and he is Hispanic. So half of the wedding party doesn’t speak the language of the other half! Fortunately, it’s not a large wedding, and the couple is pretty easy going!

Maybe it’s not so bad living in a small town.

Living the Laura Ingalls Life

Author Laura Ingalls Wilder used her experienc...

Image via Wikipedia

Or trying to, at least. I was looking around my cluttered apartment this past week and figured, well, Laura Ingalls certainly NEVER had this much stuff. No wonder she got so much accomplished.

I usually re-read These Happy Golden Years at least once yearly, and I think it’s about time. It always puts me in the mood for getting things done. And there’s so much to do at this time of year. Anybody who thinks Christmas is the busy time of the year doesn’t know what country or farm life is like in the Spring.

But fortunately, today is Sunday and so I only have to “work” as a pianist.

Stuff Catholics Like: Single Ladies & Beyoncé

Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)Image via Wikipedia

All the single ladies, that is! Put your hands up, hands up! Because if you’re a single lady, and probably going to stay one for any foreseeable future, there is just no better place to be than the Catholic Church! Gobs of single ladies are running around every Catholic parish, because there doesn’t seem to be the stigma of being “gifted with singleness” that you find in Protestant churches. (Shout out here to Jon Acuff at Stuff Christians Like for developing a Surviving Church as a Single Scorecard.) Instead, being a single Catholic lady puts you in with some great company. Like Mother Teresa, Hildegard of Bingen, and Tasha Tudor! (Wait, she’s not Catholic? Oops! And I think I read somewhere that she did used to be married…yeah, cause she has kids. Crap! Well, two out of three ain’t bad! Well, she’s great anyway. Maybe she should become Catholic!)

Saint Monica ModernBasically, unless you’re a Very Special Married Lady like Saint Monica, or Saint Gianna Molla, but if you want to become a woman saint, you’re going to have to be a single lady. (Good for me!)

I don’t know if Beyoncé had this single lady in mind when she wrote her song, but Saint Catherine of Sienna actually did get a ring! A mystical wedding ring, visible only to her, that she got from Jesus. THAT IS Gianna MollaSO COOL! I wonder if it looked like the one Kate Middleton is sporting now. Nah, probably better, ’cause it actually came from Jesus himself. (And even though the Jesus in my children’s Bible had blond hair, He was definitely not as cute as Prince William, though I guess that’s to be expected, since Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would have, “no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him” (Isaiah 53:2b, New American Bible). I do know that if I starting making noises that I had received a mystical wedding ring from Jesus that was only visible to me, I would probably be put on some kind of special medication only available through a licensed psychiatrist. (Definitely one thing that sucks about not living in the “olden days,” although I think those particular olden days were called the Dark Ages.)

His PrincessThere’s been a lot of chatter over the past few years in Evangelical Protestant circles about seeing Jesus as some kind of Prince Charming, made especially popular in the works of, among others, Sheri Rose Shepherd. But Catholics have, literally, centuries of that stuff to go on. Hey folks, wake up and smell the incense already! I realize that He does ride a white horse in the book of Revelation, but I think seeing Jesus as a Prince Charming is honestly, not even close to good enough. Nope. What are the single ladies then, the Heavenly Harem? I’m not sure about that…

Any church that makes celibacy a requirement for its ministers is bound to have any number of single ladies who, as Protestants, would’ve probably married a minister. Unfortunately, all the ministers are “taken” (as it were) in this denomination, so right there there’s a whole bunch of ladies.

And we even have groups of single ladies, that band together to help each other—they’re called sisters! (You’re only a nun if you’re cloistered, FYI.) Once upon a time, a very long time ago, some ladies joined religious orders because they’d been jilted, but now that’s frowned upon. And too bad, in my opinion. You want an increase in vocations, let those bitter chicks join up, and we’d soon have a lot more stories about kids getting their hands hit with a ruler again. (And probably fewer in jail, but that’s another story!)

All A-Gaga

Well, we did it, so I guess that means we’re not, what, “virgins” anymore. (Does anybody really use that word?) Once you’ve done it, you really can’t go back to the place you were before. Things aren’t the same. You feel … different. Changed. You want to tell everyone, maybe even people you don’t know. And yet you can’t seem to find the words that express your … hmmm, your experience? Your feelings? I don’t k now.

But I do know one thing: I will never be the same. Because, dear reader, we went to see Lady Gaga! Tuesday, 1 March 2011, Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

What to say? It’s not like any concert I’ve been to, and I’ve been to many. It’s not like a Broadway musical, which I’ve also seen. It’s more of a combination—Quite an astonishing combination! Costumes and dancers and monsters, oh, my!

And what a well-behaved crowd! I’m pretty sure every sexual orientation was represented,

probably even some I’m unfamiliar with! Women dressed as men, men dressed as women—someone even dressed like a unicorn! Young people, old people. All sorts were mingling in a sort of fantastical soup of self-expression. And all this in really cold weather! Both Sophia and I had hoped to dress up, but felt that the chilly weather and uncertainty of how long we’d have to wait to get into the arena precluded wearing anything other


than pants.

But that clearly didn’t stop some people. Witness the delightful young man in the Beanie Baby jeans (right). He was just great! And after the concert we ran across a couple of other young men who were happy to pose with Sophia (left).

I have never been to any concert, at venue, that seemed so drug free. That was

great. Although, frankly, I can’t imagine why you’d want any alteration in this experience, since it was already so mind-blowing that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss a single second.

From the minute she appeared to the closing curtain, the show ran like a well-oiled machine. Even the costume and set changes were accomplished in an astonishingly short time span.  She is really amazing!


Quinceañera today

Osmaíra Martínez quince in limoHere’s Osmaíra in the back of the limo.

Today I played piano for the quinceañera of Osmaíra Martínez. I was afraid I’d be going solo, but one of my singers, Luz Piña, showed up unexpectedly and that was great. Osmaíra’s was very beautiful and everything went off without a hitch. Things were a little late getting started, but that’s nothing new. The weather was stellar, in my opinion. Even thought it’s late August, it was in the mid-60’s, just right for tuxedos and dresses with crinolines. I’m just so glad to see girls make a public profession of their faith.

St. Joe'sThis is a picture of our church, St. Joseph’s.

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