A little corner of my world that I enjoy is as an ordained officiant (a fancy word that means I can do things like perform weddings and the like). I use this role rarely but it’s always great fun as well as fulfilling for me on several levels. Acting in this capacity, I recently presided over the renewal of the wedding vows of some old friends as they celebrated their 30th anniversary. Barefoot on the beach and surrounded by family and friends, a good time was had by all.
It made me think about the things that I’ve committed to as well (especially the promises I made to Mrs. Blogmeister those many years ago) and I remembered that first evening and gathering of the now 10-years-old Windward Choral Society and the commitment that I and so many others made to join our voices together on a new adventure. But why? What sort of commitment was it? What does that mean in the larger scoper of my life?
Some of the answers are simple. Time is the first one that pops into my mind (where you’ll find a great deal of empty space). With the challenges of having two jobs and all of the other things that adulthood seems to throw at me all day…every day…and into the evening…two hours every Tuesday night is a significant chunk. (Full disclosure: I suspect one of the reasons that Mrs. Blogmeister showed me the article about the initial gathering in Midweek Magazine was to get me out of the house for a few hours…I ain’t got proof but I have my suspicions.)
Focus is another, a little more fuzzy to define but still a commitment. Those two hours are going to feature somebody standing in front of me waving her arms and trying to teach me stuff and I’m supposed to PAY ATTENTION. I can get distracted when somebody jangles car keys in my peripheral vision; two hours is an eternity.
There’s a commitment to dedication, specifically as it applies to the boss and the rest of the group. You start it? You see it through. Having a voice disappear makes more difference than you think. There’s also dedicating yourself to do your best every time you open your mouth to sing (even when you’re tired and you worked late and barely stuffed down a snack before rehearsal and all you really want to do is tell someone that your boss is a jackass). We’re makin’ music here…make it awesome.
It’s a funny thing, singing in this particular asylum…er…I mean…choir. There are other commitments that you find yourself making, sometimes without even realizing it. As we wrapped up rehearsal on John Starr Alexander’s “Requiem” even the new kids felt it. The commitment to move beyond the words and the notes. The commitment to allow Susie to drag us deeper into what the music is saying to us and, through us, to our audience. The commitment of a little corner of our souls to those two hours on Tuesday so that the concerts we present are not just a performance, they’re a journey.
And don’t worry, when you get OUT of rehearsal you can remember your boss is a jackass…