7 Quick Takes Friday - symphonies, snoring, & suicide

Aloha Friday Blog Hop

Saturday night I went to a performance by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra called "A Whole New World," which featured cello soloist Wendy Warner. It was held at the Juanita K. Hammons Hall, and I have gone to other productions there sponsored by the Missouri State University music department, so I was not prepared for how formal it was! At least I wore khakis with a semi-dressy shirt...I think there might have been a person or two less dressed up than I was.... Oh well. Next time I'll know, this is the real deal!
The performance was terrific. I did not get a picture of the soloist, because they asked us to turn off phones, etc., but I did get a decent shot of the rest of the orchestra before the lights went down.
The thing that always catches my eye and my imagination at these things is the
shiny black stage floor and all the scuff marks in the back from its past productions.
...It makes me remember my own experiences on the stage...like in
my high school's production of The Wizard of Oz 16 years ago, in which
I played the role of the munchkin coroner and got to hand Dorothy
the wicked witch's death certificate and sing a four-line ditty in a
cute little munchkin voice!
A shot of JKH Hall as I drove away after the performance

I sat in the mezzanine between two older gentlemen. The one to my right was fairly chatty and made me feel very welcome. He was a "regular" at the symphony and this was his regular seat. I liked him. The guy to my left slouched over in his chair and slept through the first half of the program, even snoring at one point, with his beret hanging over his right knee. At intermezzo the guy on my right said, "Was it just me, or did you hear some snoring...?" I said, "Yeah, it was the guy on the other side of me!" He simply replied, "Yeah, he's a doctor, poor fella." I'm a little ashamed to admit my immediate thought was, "Retired doctor, I hope...." (He was quite old.)

Did you know I used to play the tenor saxophone? Well, now you do. I played it in my junior high band when I was in the 8th grade. That's it. But I was first chair (out of two players)! ;) I have always thought I would love to pick it up again...but things like lack of time, and lack of money, and lack of a place to practice have always kept me from it. I still think one day I will. Some other instruments I would be interested to learn are the piano, the banjo, the harmonica, and the steel guitar.
And all this speak of orchestras and my fascination with all things "fine art" brings to mind a scene from the BBC version of the movie Pride and Prejudice about what people used to consider "accomplishments" for women (for the main point of the conversation begin at about 2:05):
So, story of my life, I am late. Turning in my master's thesis, that is. I like writing. I love a finished writing/research project, and more often than not, I even do a decent job. But it intimidates me so much! And especially this - this is the culmination of the last five years of my life. What if I don't write the most perfect paper that has ever been written?! I know that is an impossibly high expectation, but I will feel disappointed if I don't knock it out of the park with this. Especially since the subject of my paper is one that is near and dear to my heart (pastoral care for family members of individuals who complete suicide). I have this paper, and HALF of another, MUCH smaller paper to do, and I will be finished with the work for my M. Div. You would think that would be motivation enough, no? Yeah. You would think. Buuuuuut instead, I'm blogging. O.o

I finished the A to Z blogging challenge for April. I successfully finished the challenge. That means I wrote 26 posts in 30 days, each one reflecting on a topic beginning with the next consecutive letter of the alphabet. (So I may not have finished my thesis this week, but I did finish something! And I even cleaned my house (...well...most of it)!) I am going to make this my Reflection Post.
I really enjoyed participating in this challenge. I "met" a lot of new bloggers and found several interesting ones to follow. Here are a couple I particularly like:
I liked a lot of others, too, but these were probably my favorites. I also took part in a couple of extra smaller bloghops I found through other A to Z participants during the month and followed a few blogs through them, too. I gained 54 new followers through this challenge! Some people gained more, some less, but I think that is pretty good for a blog that primarily deals with God and theological reflections. That's a specialty not everyone cares to read in their free time!
So I loved it. And I hope to join in again next year. And in the meantime, I plan to continue to visit my newfound A to Z bloggers.
And since I am completely insane, I decided to join another month-long bloggin challenge to Blog Every Day in May, hosted by Jenni at "Story of My Life" blog. She provides a prompt and a link-up for each day, and if you skip a day, it's no big deal. That's my kind of blogging challenge (though I don't intend to skip any days)! So far, 2 for 2, I am current.
I still haven't made it to a Springfield Cardinals baseball game! I've been planning to do so for like the last 3 weeks, but it just hasn't worked out yet. With the weather cold like it is, though, I'm feeling more confident that more "springlike" (as opposed to sweltering, disgusting "summerlike") weather will hold out another week or two so maybe I can get to one while it is still enjoyable (I don't particularly enjoy sweating). 
I'm going to continue my habit thus far and close out this Quick Takes edition with a song. I am tired, though I am at work for the night, so I can't sleep. So...I will leave you with this wonderful Appalachian lullaby (at least, that's what I think it iperformed by Alison Krauss that I've been listening to on her album 100 Miles or More:

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. A good post, I am off to Branson in November to see my favourite Irish singer,
    Enjoyed visiting you during the challenge.

    1. Thank you, Yvonne! I hope you have a wonderful time in Branson. I live about 45 minutes from there!!

  2. Congrats on completion of a-z. Popped in for your reflections post? I too joined the May thing...not one to like prompts, but we'll see how it goes. Haven't been to the symphony in years, but always enjoyed going. Funny how you get out of the habit of doing things.

  3. It's so fun to come see what new and interesting musical event you attended this week. :) Wish we had a concert hall that nice...

    I used to do a ton of blog hops, but I've quit because keeping up with the visits got to be too much. I still wish I could do more, but eh bien.

  4. Taking on another blog a day challenge so soon?! Good on you!

  5. Melody, I was reading along and saw the word, suicide. It struck me in a way that may not be clearly stated within the words I write ... I am always afraid I will lose something in translation from brain to post, but I'll give it my best:
    My senior year of high school our Psychology class was given the assignment of writing about anything we chose, but we were encouraged to use a subject matter that was of great personal interest to us. No other holds, barred. We were promised that we were free to explore our subject at depth.
    My choice came quite easily. I personally could not wrap my arms around the fact that suicide was something that could occur with a sane person, I erroneously thought only an insane person committed the act.. It simply made no sense to me. And it wasn't until my teacher took me aside, after reading my paper, that a light bulb that had flickered, suddenly flooded my world with light.
    I had fought an internal battle of rage and sadness (as did my siblings who grew up in a house of two very abusive, alcoholic parents). From day-to-day our world was chaotic and frightening.
    It never 'occurred' to me that I was seeking a way out of this life. To me, the word suicide could not fit into my personal vocabulary. After all, I was the normal one, along with my five siblings. Our parents were the aberrants, the outcasts, the mentally unfit within our universe.
    I guess what I am hoping to convey to you is what I found my teacher conveying to me. He did so in such a manner that it was not until months later that I realized he was performing an intervention. A miraculous, sincere and dedicated attempt to get me to see what it is that I could not see. This gentleman saved my life. So...about that paper that you are procrastinating over, can I offer you some encouragement? I'd like you to forget about making it, 'perfect'. I think it already contains the elements of success you fear may not be apparent. Half of everything we say and do in life becomes completed when we share it. It then becomes fully that of which we had willed ourselves to say.
    Fret not your writing, fret that it cannot be read until it is delivered. I bless you and wish you great success.

    1. Thank you for sharing!! I am so glad someone was there and paying attention enough to help you through your struggle! I have dealt with it personally as well, and experienced family members' suicides, so it is important to me as well. Your encouragement is very effective, so thank you for that. I am so glad you stopped by!

  6. Congrats for completing the A-Z. Nice to meet you.

    1. Nice to meet you, too, Teresa! I tried to return the visit and follow, but I could not find a link to your blog.

  7. Congratulations on completing the challenge. I sure had fun. I am looking forward to next years!

    Peanut Butter and Whine

  8. Oh my, I have to agree that you're crazy for signing up for that May thing! haha. I was so glad to finally stagger over the finish line at the end of April. ;)

    Congrats on your A to Z achievement!

    Trisha @ WORD+STUFF

  9. Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea
    shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and
    said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She put the shell to her ear and screamed.

    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off
    topic but I had to tell someone!

    my weblog :: causes of snoring during pregnancy

  10. Congratulations on finishing and on gaining followers! I never played an instrument, though I wanted to. Some day, maybe.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

How I Lost My Conservativism and a Lot of My Religion, Too: Part 5

May, Day 6: I think

X: Xenolalia