Sunday, June 24, 2007

Pour l'oeuvre du Vêtement du blessé

I played the piano for church this morning. I always enjoy rehearsing with the band, all the little musical humor we share and the good work that goes into preparing to lead in worship on Sunday. I wish everyone in the church could experience a service this way. If only each one could come having thought ahead about the topic, ready to sing the songs and participate in the space and the silence (or if not, be given 3 services to get ready).

Often when the group I play with (yes, we mean it when we say we play together) is scheduled, I get the joy of choosing a few songs for the prelude. Sometimes the group learns something to do together, but my new music book hasn't arrived yet and I was out of fresh ideas for the band. So I poked around in my piano bench and found this piece of music I didn't even know I owned. It is by Claude Debussy and is called Pour l'oeuvre du Vêtement du blessé. It looked simple and sounded lovely so I decided to use it for church. Last night, I finally thought I should look up the title and all the musical terms (Usually musical directions are in Italian, but Debussy wrote all of his terms and titles in French) so I found babelfish and started plugging in words.

Then the literal translation of the title popped up on my screen.

For the work of the clothing of wounds

For a moment, I was breathless. I don't know what I had expected, but it wasn't this. After a bit more research (which required turning my piece of music over and reading the previously-ignored blurb on the back), I discovered that Debussy wrot
e Pour l'oeuvre du Vêtement du blessé in 1915 to raise money for a charity devoted to clothing the wounded from the war. But the image of a piece of music written for the work of the dressing of wounds remained. I pulled out my medley of Deep River with There is a Balm in Gilead and played my own little musical joke. Then our pastor spoke about forgiveness as the antidote to bitterness and gave plenty of time for people to check their spirits for old wounds and to ask God for healing. And we waited for the dressing of the wounds.

I was apprehensive going into this service. Sometimes plans for worship fall into place in a way that is delightful to be a part of, but this service felt like hard work from the beginning. Still, I have done this thing often enough to know that God can (and does) work no matter what I feel, even when doing what he asks seems more like work than play, so I wasn't too worried (well, I was worried I would miss the transition in that third song, but that kind of worry just keeps me awake through 3 services). Still, I smiled at this serendipity, what my friend Jo called "a wink from God."

I pray that this morning was a time for the dressing of wounds; when people found the courage to allow God to open up old hurts, soothe, and bind them up again. And I am grateful to be a part of this work.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tonight's Specials

The girls have a hand-me-down easel/chalkboard that lives outside most of the summer. Last year, I started writing the evening's menu on it before Bryan got home. It was fun to make dinner sound as fancy as I could. Most evenings, it didn't require much gussying up since we were exploring so many new vegetables. This spring, we have cheerfully renewed the habit. It makes family dinner just that much more special and (I hope) is a welcoming tradition for my hard-working husband. One night this week (when we had friends over), it said...

Tonight's Specials
Garlic Scape Pesto with Pitas
Potato Kale Soup
Homemade Ten-Grain Bread
Strawberry Shortcake

Tonight, (if I had written on it) it would have read...

Gnocchi with Swiss Chard, Spring Onions and Garlic Scapes
Fresh-baked Challah

Last night it just said...

Movie and Ice Cream

If you had to choose, which special would you order?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

News and comments

(I must have been inspired by our visit to the news station. Or maybe not...this is all good news.)

Lead Story:
Bryan's been working late a lot recently, but he is finally home tonight and we are all having ice cream and watching one of my favorite kids' movies. School is officially out for the summer and our calendar is filling up with camping and sailing plans.

News Item 2:
Last Saturday, we had an open house out at Oakhill Organics, our vegetable farm. Despite the cold and rainy weather, we had a wonderful time, meeting other CSA members and playing with the new farm kittens.

Related News Item:
Speaking of kittens, a few weeks ago, we found three of them underneath one of the layers out at Kookoolan Farms, nestled in among the eggs. They didn't even have their eyes open yet and, with no Mama Cat in sight, we all had fun joking about looking for furry eggshells. We have seen them a couple of times since and they are so cute and growing so big. But I sure would have liked a camera that first day.

Awkward Segue to News Item 4 (and tease for next week's show):
Our church has been taking a fresh look at our worship practices recently, so I have been doing some of the same. I have some thoughts brewing, but I don't think they're fully steeped yet. I'm hoping to do some writing about it over the next few weeks so stay tuned.

In-Depth/Human-Interest News Item (with director's commentary):
I'm working to find a summer vacation routine for the girls and myself. This summer feels different than the past few for multiple reasons. Even two years ago, our routine was not much different during the summer as our schooling was quite a bit more relaxed than this year's. Last summer at this time, we were still trying to catch up from all my mom's knee surgeries when my brother fell on Mt. Hood. In fact, Sunday will be one year since the accident and we hope to have a much more normal (read "hospital-free") Father's Day.

I only spent a week or so helping with his hands-on care, but the stress of the whole experience took its toll and I spent much of the summer trying to recover my joie de vivre. I remember telling a friend that I was surprised to notice that my reflection in the mirror was hardly ever smiling. When my brother and I were younger, he would always say about a movie star or model, "She would be so pretty if she would just SMILE." I must have internalized the idea because I hardly ever look at myself the mirror without smiling, no matter what I look like that day (I also smile or nod back at the actors in a movie, though, so maybe I'm just strange). But that wasn't true for me last summer. It took a very patient husband, quite a few supportive friends (who cleaned my house, thwarted a impulse haircut, and listened) , and a couple of months of God's soothing grace to feel like myself again.

So this summer, with the girls old enough to create appropriately lazy occupations all on their own, and my joy and energy (if not my laundry room) intact, I am trying to take advantage of the relatively unstructured time. I hope to use some of it for music (I've been practicing more often and more diligently and am planning a brunch-and-music event with a cellist friend), writing (hopefully not just here on the blog), and house cleaning (well, you know what they say about 2 out of 3). But the new schedule is taking a bit of adjustment and will change week to week depending on our other plans. I just didn't expect the summer to feel so different from the school year, since the girls are home all the time anyway. What a nice surprise!

Quick Sign-Off:
So that's my latest news along with a few comments. How about leaving a comment of your own?