Thursday, October 05, 2006

Pie Songs

Cherrypie is a sweet slice of humanity. She has tagged me to list the top 10 songs that mean something to me.

Now, I confess that this was intimidating to me. Not because I don't love music. Not because there aren't at least ten that have meaning for me. But because in typical, overanalytical, introspective, neurotic fashion, I feared what this might reveal about me.

Then I remembered: I WRITE A BLOG! ON THE INTERNET! That doesn't exactly fit the profile of a woman who values her privacy. So, bring it on, Miss Pie. However, there is nothing tidy or chronological about Mrs Blunderview, and so consider this your warning.

I grew up Mennonite. For those readers outside of the Bible belt, WE ARE NOT AMISH! We had electronics (You know, the 8 track...), we had vehicles, electricity, flush toilets, and wore relatively normal clothing. But, we were conservative, we valued family, hard work, the laws and suggestions of the Bible, quiet living. There wasn't a lot of loud music being pumped through our farm house, and if I listened to rock 'n roll, I did so very quietly, very furtively, and could rarely make out the words in the songs. Still, music was huge in our lives.

My sister was an achiever, and she took piano lessons for many years. After school, she would practise scales and complicated pieces for many hours, sometimes till she cried and felt compelled to kick at inanimate objects. I can still hear her piano playing in my memory and I can feel all my nerves and tendons cheering her on as she attempted to perfect a particularily difficult run. Many times, she would play hymns and we would sing together- she got harmony and I would sing tenor or alto and when we thought it was really something, we would perform at church on sunday morning. (The infamous "Special Number").

My brothers played guitar. When Al decided to teach himself, he would play until his fingers bled. When Ken picked it up, he played Whoa, black Betty bam-a-lam until our ears bled. Ken always got away with way more worldliness than the rest of us.....

When I was about 22, I was bored of my job as a medical receptionist and decided to move to Wichita Kansas to work for a non-profit housing company through MDS. (How stupid was that?!) The only things that got me through that blotch on my life were dating a bonehead from my team, and because that really only made things much, much worse for me, I lived for evening when I could listen to James Taylor on my walkman, alone in my ugly bedroom. Especially: "Damn, that traffic jam, how I hate to be late, by the time I get home, my supper be cold......damn, that traffic jam." It was probably just cathartic to listen to someone use a bad word...

When I was dating Brian, he wrote me a song for my birthday. It was pretty cute.
He is a very persuasive person, and a couple of times now in the past 16 years, he has convinced me to sing with him. Now, Brian is a very talented musician, which only enunciates the truth that I am not. Still, we sang at our wedding, then at my friend Danielle's wedding, then again at last year's Christmas Eve service. I love the sound of Brian's voice, singing, or not. Mine-- Not so much.

I once bought Brian and I tickets to go see Le Miserable. I love that story. I listened to that soundtrack ad nauseum.

Years later, I surprised Brian with tickets for Holly Cole. I felt a little threatened by her. She was thinner than me, and sang a whole lot better, and I had a sinus infection. I never took Brian to see Holly Cole again.

We love to go to the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Brian gets lost in the beauty of the sounds. I get lost in the crowds of people, drinking in their diversity, and enjoying the atmosphere of the park in the summer, with constant and varied music always in the background. It feeds my creative spirit, and I always resolve to make enough time one day to sell my handicrafts in the handmade village, and to revisit my dream of becoming a hippie when all the kids have grown up and are living comfortably in bungaloes with 2.5 children.

These days, one of the sanest, most meaningful, personal, and spiritual moments that I live during the week is worship music at my church on Sunday mornings. I go alone. Something deep inside is broken each time, and I drink in something pure, something holy, something indescribable. I receive hope. I see beauty in life's brokenness. I sing with my entire body-- my heart, soul, mind, sinew--- everything.

And God knows, I don't care if I sing well or not.
God knows: for once, its not about me.

That may or may not have been 10. I'm an artist, not a mathematician.
Thanks Cherry pie. I don't even feel the darkness so far today, you've given me oppurtunity to be grateful for SO MUCH.


Roo said...

i LOVED the song you guys did together at the christmas candlelight service last year. it really blessed my heart.

Brian the Mennonite said...

Of course I know all of these things, but it's really nice to read them here. I love the way you describe your in tones of beauty.
One song which you may not hear all the time, but is ever-present in your life, is the song of my heart. Here...let me play it for you.
All the diamonds in this world (you and the kids) that mean anything to me, are conjured up by wind and sunlight sparkling on the sea.
You mean EVERYTHING to me.

Cherrypie said...

That is the BEST tag response I have ever read and you ( or rather Brian's words to you) have made my eyes wet yet again.

You're beautiful through and through x

joyce said...

well, if the point is to make one another cry, then you too, my commenters, have succeeded. sniff.

esther said...

oh my goodness, that is so sweet!!
how can i help, but not join in on the teary fun...

tom909 said...

How did I end up reading this. Really cool post you mennonite babe.

mmichele said...

i'll join you at the folk fest...

Linda said...

Aaah. The Folk Fest. Let's meet there next year. This was a beautiful post. Thank you for it.