View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Nana, the choir, haiku: Arrgh

Amid the usual twists and turns in my life - Nana is now in the hospital with a bowel infection and some possible heart problems - two of the more stable and pleasurable elements in my world have been my involvement with the choir at church and the Rochester Area Haiku Group.

But, God, with his typical sense of humor, has thrown some curves.

Or maybe the devil is at work!

In the choir, there are two fellows who are a little full of themselves (I'm not counting myself, of course).

One likes to make comments, jokes, argue, talk, etc. He sings loud and on key - great - but also has bad habits of holding "l's" and "r's". "Lord," for example, comes out not as "Lawd" (as our director would like to hear), but as "Lorrrrrrrrrd." And he keeps carrying on conversations while the director is trying to give us instruction.

The other fellow thinks he is the junior choir director. He constantly butts in to give directions to the other choir members about how to sing, when to pause, enunciation, etc. To be fair, he's usually right.

But he also seems to have it in for the joker. (Henceforth referred to as the "Jokerrrrrrrr.")

Mr. Junior Choir Director keeps making comments about the Jokerrrrrr - sometimes openly, sometimes under his breath (but loud enough for those around him to hear them). One practice, he stormed out after the Jokerrrrrrr made some comment back.

On Wednesday, the Jokerrrrr apparently sang a refrain in harmony when he wasn't supposed to.

The director halted us, and we tried it again.

Again, the harmony.

Junior Choir Director, who was sitting immediately to my left, made some comments, then, when we tried again, leaned over me toward the Jokerrrrrrr and bellowed the melody.

In my face.

Every time we came to the refrain.

In my face.

Even after we moved on, he kept making comments.

Then we got to a new, somewhat difficult piece. One of the problems was with the wording and rhythm of the song (it's a mouthful!).

We were struggling with it.

The director gave us some guidance, but we blew it again.

Then Junior Choir Director jumped in and started on this lengthy "instruction" about how the words follow the normal pattern of speech.

After finishing his oration, he continued to make comments about the wording and patterns of speech.

I commented that the way it is written is not the way I speak.

He fired back that he has a masters' degree in literature, so he knows.

I replied that I have a master's degree in literature, too, and it's not written the way I speak.

He kept making comments, now directed at me.

I finally turned to him and said, "I've stopped talking, why don't you? I'm getting annoyed."

He spent the next 15 minutes of practice with his back turned to me.

Then he suddenly grabbed his cell phone out of his pocket, talked into it, announced that he had to pick someone up, and left.


I'm not looking forward to Sunday. As basses, we usually sit near each other.

As for the haiku group, at the last meeting, the "coordinator" - a college professor who has a high pompous index - for some reason kept interrupting a woman.

The woman just happened to be a skilled poet and one of the founding members. After several interruptions, she stood up and left, obviously upset.

I thought of calling her, but had misplaced her number, then didn't get around to trying to dig it up. Mea culpa.

All the members later got an e-mail from the coordinator in which he apologized. He said that he had been just trying to keep the meeting moving.

The next meeting is this afternoon. It's at his home. He said we will be choosing new leadership today.

I hope the woman is there. I'll vote for her.

So, both of my havens have had tensions of late.

Meanwhile, no Mother's Day lunch with Nana now - unless we do it in the hospital.

And this is my first Mother's Day since mom's death.

I won't visit her grave - I'm not into that sort of thing.

Maybe I'll write a haiku.

Or sing a song.

I'll sing the melody and not the harmony, though.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Lee. I saw your comment at Chesterton and Friends. Still interested? It's a low-impact gig. Just once a week. Email me at Thanks.


9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ego, egos. everywhere, eh? What a drag....

9:48 PM  
Blogger ~m2~ said...

you look for harmony in places where it *seemingly* should be and it is not. where do you go from there?

(you still retain your sense of humor and that, my dear, is a blessing.)

12:11 PM  

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