Sunday, May 6, 2007


Today, in southeastern Virginia, it is very windy. My current weather information says sustained winds of 28mph, with gusts over 40mph. There are branches down all over the place, some fences and gutters falling, and I'm grateful that our power lines are buried. Breathe on me, breath of God? Okay... but does it have to be so blustery?

This morning was my first Sunday singing with the choir. I was nervous until I got there. I vested in the choir room, walked over to the nave, and settled into the loft. Listened to our organist practice some of his music while other choir members trickled in, and then we warmed up together. Until about two minutes before the service, it looked like I was going to be the only first soprano there, and one of only three sopranos there total. Then another first showed up, but she's recovering from bronchitis, so she did her best. I also learned that sopranos usually lead the procession, but not being terribly familiar with what I was supposed to do, I made someone else go in front. Not that it was difficult, but I didn't want to lead on my very first Sunday. It was heavenly, and I am so very, very thankful for coming to this parish and meeting these people and joining this choir.

Last night, my husband and I had a talk with our children, and now I can come out and say here what I've been dancing around since late March. My husband and I are separating, after almost-fifteen years of marriage. This has been a long time coming, and it has only been recently that I've been healthy and strong enough to do what I need to do for myself. It is sad, and it sucks, but that is where we are. We are discussing how to divide everything up, and are going to try for a 50/50 custody split. After the initial pain and shock and anger, I think (hope, pray) that we'll be able to do this thoughtfully, intelligently, compassionately, and maturely. (And yes, I pray these things every bit as much for myself as for my soon-to-be ex. I know I'm far from perfect, by any means.)

There is a scene in the movie Ever After, which is a retelling of the Cinderella story. After going through all kinds of horrible stuff, Danielle arrives at the ball, dressed in a white gown as an angel. And she stands at the top of the stairs, hesitating before plunging into the middle of everything, and says to herself: Just breathe. It is a purely magical moment in the movie and has always been very powerful for me. There have been many times when I've plunged forward into something without taking that little pause to just be in the moment, to just breathe. There is someone, who may just be the best friend I've ever had, who reminds me when I'm freaking out about something to just breathe. I can't tell you how powerful that advice has been. When it feels like everything is falling apart, go back to the basics. Breathe. Close your eyes. Feel your body, the skin and everything surrounding it. Take inventory of the sensations, internal and external. Inhale, exhale. And if the emotions or the thoughts are just too much, then just stay right there, just being in its pure physical form for a time.

This will be a hectic week for me. It is my busiest time of the month at work, and both children have their spring concerts on different nights this week. Choir rehearsal - of course! - and this weekend I have a wedding rehearsal, the wedding, and then a dinner to play flute at on Sunday. The following weekend, I have a wedding down on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and I'm looking forward to even that slight change of scenery for a little recharging. The thing about playing the flute, like singing, is that breathing is so important. You have to focus on your breathing, have to be intentional about it. Your breath shapes the music. This week, I will try to keep that advice in mind, to just breathe. It's good advice, and I'm grateful for it. Thank you, Friend. You know who you are!