Something to Sing About

Call it irony if you like.  On my way to choir rehearsal tonight, I was listening to NPR when I heard this commentary on what we can learn from opera during the current economic bad times.   I laughed out loud as Marc Acito, a music commentator (and professional musician) talked about all the bad news presented in opera and how the protagonists just sing about their troubles.  Here’s a quote from the commentary that I could most relate to:

“Or, if you think you’re working too hard just to keep up, remember The Barber of Seville. When he sings “Figaro, Figaro…” it’s not because he likes the sound of his own voice. Well, actually, most baritones do sing because they like the sound of their own voice. But in this case, he’s actually complaining about how he has to be in so many places at once. “Figaro qua, Figaro la, Figaro qua, Figaro la, Figaro su, Figaro giu, Figaro su, Figaro giu.”

It’s no exaggeration to say Figaro’s overwork is what led to the French Revolution.”

If you take the time to follow the link, take the time to listen to the short audio file of the commentary.  It is much more entertaining spoken than written, plus you get to hear Mark Acito sing excerpts from the operas he describes.

The commentary on opera made me think of country music, too.  Think of all those “my wife left me, my car died, and even the dog has left” country music songs.   And, of course, there’s always “the blues” for crooning about bad times.

Hearing this piece reminded me that music is a great tool for dealing with stress.  It soothes the soul, even when it seems like nothing can help.  It also made me laugh, and we all know humor is a great balm for emotional and psychological ailments.

Navigating the Life God has Given Us

So, I am on Facebook . . . and Twitter.  Every day or hour or minute, if you like, you can post your status, ie, what you’re doing, thinking, eating, etc.  I recently noticed that a friend from years ago is in the middle of a move to another city.  So I wrote on her wall asking what motivated the move.  She wrote back telling me about her husband’s new job.  She asked if we’re still in St Louis.  I wrote on her wall, and I was trying to think of a polite way to say yes, we’re still in St Louis not doing anything that we really want to be doing–that we’re educated, capable people who are underemployed and trying to be grateful for that.  So I came up with: “we’re just navigating the life God has given us.”

We really are doing some things we want to be doing.  We are still married after 17 years and have 4 children we love.  Life is certainly never boring. But, we seem to be in a constant state of flux . . . of never having a definite destination, of wanting the world for our family, and having to learn over and over again that God has something more than the world for us–He just isn’t ready to share what exactly that is yet.

So what’s my point?  My point is that we are in good company.  It seems that God has a history of making His people wait for things.  This is what I am learning and relearning.  Sometimes I feel like I want to just scream, “God, I’ve already learned this lesson!”  But I don’t know God’s timing, and I don’t have all the information, so I need to comfort myself with the knowledge that God does have it all figured out.  I am preaching to myself.  I am learning to navigate the life God has given me.

Look-alike Redux

I was in the process of putting together a look-a-like post about actor Omar Epps and Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin, and I came across this, where someone else already did it.  Anyway, I kept looking at Tomlin during the game the other night, and I kept thinking how he looked so much like the neurologist from House.

Happy Ground Hog Day!

The people in Punxsutawney, PA, waiting to see Phil’s Forecast

 Punxsutawney, PA, is the land of my ancestors.  Seriously.  Both of my parents were born there and lived in the area until I was two.  (Then they moved about 15 miles up the road to DuBois, where I grew up.)  There is a little section just outside Punxsy (that’s what the natives call Punxsutawney) called Burkett Hollow.  Burkett, for those who read this and don’t know, is my maiden name.  Burkett, in Punxsy, is as common as Smith is in other places.

So, in honor of my ancestors, I want to wish everyone a happy Ground Hog Day.  The little rodent saw his shadow this morning.  No matter what Phil does, there’s really always about the same number of weeks of winter, but its a tradition.  So we roll with it.

Here’s the “official prognostication:”

Phil Says “Six More Weeks of Winter!”

Phil’s official forecast as read February 2nd, 2009 at sunrise at Gobbler’s Knob:

Hear Ye Hear Ye On Gobbler’s Knob this glorious Groundhog Day, February 2nd, 2009

Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of all Prognosticators

Awoke to the call of President Bill Cooper

And greeted his handlers, Ben Hughes and John Griffiths

After casting a joyful eye towards thousands of his faithful followers,

Phil proclaimed that his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers were World Champions one more time

And a bright sky above me

Showed my shadow beside me.

So 6 more weeks of winter it will be.

And, here’s a link to all things Phil.


 My 4 kids with a statue of Phil in Punxsutawney about 2 years ago.