Friday, May 20, 2005

'Tis the Gift to be Simple (Friday Song)

Several--many, really--of my oldest and dearest friends are going to be able to attend the wedding, which delights me beyond words. I spoke with one last night, someone I met my very first day of college back in 1977--not only are she and her husband and kids coming, but her brother is coming as well. My friend L is a singer; her dream was to sing opera, and she does that, though not at the Met, which, of course, is every singer's dream. When I first told her the date of the wedding, she offered to sing, but, fearing that she was just being polite, I didn't take her up on it. Last night she reiterated her offer (and, in the meantime, my mother also volunteered that she wanted L to sing), so I said, well, if you want to, then, yes, I'd love for you to do that. What would you like to sing? And she offered "Tis the Gift," an old Shaker song, that has this tune and words (warning: sound starts as page loads). It doesn't mention a god, she noted, and I readily agreed, because I love the song. The Shakers were a little unusual--any sect that chooses celibacy for ALL its members is going to have a challenging time reproducing itself--but I admire their love of simplicity. Some of my friends would regard me as a fan of simplicity--and they'd be right, in a way--but I also look around at all the stuff in my life (shout-out to kstyle and her efforts to remove clutter!) and I realize that "simple" is a relative concept, and I feel a little abashed.

And speaking of "simple" and "gifts," that's the other challenge. I've finally succumbed to the pressure to register, but I am bound and determined to avoid tchochkes and Luxe stuff that we just don't need. Towels that aren't fraying along the edge? Okay. Crystal? No. New loaf pans to replace the 25-year-old-rusted ones? Okay. China (which we'd never use and have no place to put)? No. Even so, the whole thing makes me queasy. I know that people would like to give us gifts, and it makes sense to provide guidance such that one does not end up with lots of crystal tchochkes, but, really, the thing that will make me most happy is having so many wonderful people in one place at one time and being able to throw a great party for and with them. I truly would be content if we did not receive a single gift except the presence of the invited guests.

Anyway, I'm delighted that L thought of that song, and wants to sing it, and I think it will be beautiful.


Blogger yami mcmoots said...

I sang that song at my uncle's wedding. It's beautiful indeed.

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