Skip to main content

Dona Nobis Pacem


Lost in thought today I found myself humming a song I learned in 7th grade. Ms Renfro taught chorus and she was an amazing woman- a renaissance hippie of sorts- way ahead of her time. She had long hair that she would grab quickly into a pony tail, twist and put up with one of those leather hair holders that had a stick run through it. The end of her pony would flop into a fan above her head. It was some twenty-five years later that I noticed women wearing their hair that way on purpose. Ms. Renfro simply wanted hers out of her way. When she put it up like that she reminded me of the NBC peacock. She was young and wore eyeliner. Until her class I had teachers who were gray haired and named Hazel Pickard and Miss Irwin. They wore my grandmother's glasses. Ms Refro wore big sun glasses pushed up on her head when she was inside. She was beautiful in an earthy sort of a way. She taught us Dona Nobis Pacem. We sang it a cappella and when we did all the parts the acoustics in the chorus room made my ears and skin tingle.

Were you fortunate enough to have a teacher who actually liked students and teaching? Ms Renfro obviously did. She sang and played her guitar for us. Mostly folk songs, which was really pretty normative in the 70s, but instead of singing songs like Blowing in the Wind, she sang us Appalachian folk songs and songs full of history. I know that now that now that I live in the Appalachians and not the coastal hills of California. She captivated my imagination. We learned all the music from My Fair Lady and Hair. Somehow she got us to like both equally. As she would direct us she would close her eyes and get completely lost in the music we were singing. It was either that or she couldn't bear to both see and hear us while we were butchering the songs she loved so well.

Here I sit more than four decades later humming a tune with Latin words. I am pensive. Lost in a sort of kaleidoscopic contemplation. Considering the events of this year and the years of my life. Trying to make sense of the nonsense and looking for patterns and codes as though I believed everything written in a Dan Brown novel to be true. Each time I think I have the images figured out they change. I am watching the news, playing Words With Friends, thinking deep thoughts and writing this all at once. Multitasking limits intentionality and focus. So does aging.

I am old enough to have grown up when having a television was a novelty. Getting a color television meant your family had means, sort of like having braces meant you were well to do. Did I ever really envy kids with braces? You bet. What a curse to be born with straight teeth! How things have changed. There was a chair next to telephone table in every home. We dialed numbers on rotary phones. Telephone numbers were different then. Beacon 7-1482 and Union 9-2622 are the numbers I grew up with. One place I lived you only had to dial the last four digits of a phone number to reach the person you wanted and frugal folks could still have party lines. It all seems positively medieval now that I can watch TV on my cellular phone.

News travels at the speed of light now. We know too much too soon, in my opinion. We are inundated and react before the dust settles which sort of ensures the dust never will settle. Things that would have a way of working themselves out get made bigger than life and things we ought to pay attention to get buried beneath Kim Kardashian's 72 day marriage and Charlie Sheen's #winning!

Today on the news I heard Iran is threatening to shut down shipping lanes and the US threatening to retaliate if they do. Veiled threats of course. Iran says one of our aircraft carriers is there to intimidate/provoke them. We say it's there as support for the war in Afghanistan. Both are probably true.

Oh and Beyoncé's baby is due any day. I wish Beyoncé and her husband well as they start their family but really- why do I have to know their business?

God save us. Dona nobis pacem. Grant us peace.















Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Procrastination- Propaganda- Profundity

When I am studying something that bothers me, I do just about anything I can to stall. In doing so I stumble upon a lot of odd information. I love history and any student of history will tell you that most everything we are familiar with has had an odd beginning. Sometimes there will be different odd stories regarding the genesis of a myth, folkway or idiom. Somewhere in the mix the truth can be found. You just have to look.

While I lived in Australia I went to a visit a little town on the Murray River called Echuca. Echuca has a wonderful history and boasts the largest collection of paddle steamers in the world. It also has a coach house and carriage museum. It was during my visit to the carriage museum that I was told the origin of the expression to 'drop off to sleep.' According the docent, the carriage cheap seats were the ones outside and on the back. You had a platform to sit on and a rope or rail to hang onto for dear life. During a long trip a poor unfortun…

Sleep Snorkel Surprise

Summer colds. Blech! Is there anything more annoying that being too hot and having your nose run like Bridalveil Fall? Probably but nothing comes to mind right now. My nose is red and raw from all the sneezing and blowing and I have been using Puff's. Imagine if I had some generic sandpaper tissue instead? I could probably die from the pain. Death by runny nose rough tissue rhinoplasty.
I went to bed very early last night because I was feeling miserable. I have sleep apnea and therefore sleep with a bipap machine that keeps from crumping in my sleep. Now, I love my little bipap machine. I got it after my near death experience a few years ago when the nurses in the ICU turned me in to the doctor because I never slept. Once I was released from the hospital they sent me for a sleep study. I had to do it twice because they wait for you to fall to sleep and monitor your breathing in order to decide if you need a machine. Generally they try different types of machines and differe…

Super Church a song for the Emergent-sy

In the early 70s I was in a youth choir at my church. Our youth pastor was a musician and his way of connecting with us as a group was through the choir and music. Somehow there was an affiliation between him and The Continental Singers, New Hope and Jeremiah People. He was worked with Moishe Rosen of Jews for Jesus too, I think. Are any of these names familiar to you? Though I remember the church fondly I was a profoundly lost and troubled young woman during my years there. That and time have muddled the memories quite a bit.

Today I was digging through some old paperwork and one of the books to the musical we did. It's Getting Late For the Great Planet Earth, a folk rock oratorio by Cam Floria. Yes, that's right. Cam Floria put Hal Lindsey to music. There's a lot to laugh about and some to groan about but as I was looking through the songs and remembering, I found this little ditty and I only wish I could sing it for you. Just remember that this is circa 1972 and even the…