Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Petra is writing a novel. Its protagonists are named Julian and Caroline, and it's set in the Regency period, inspired by the novels of Jane Austen.
Its' NaNoWriMo-- National Novel Writing Month-- and at this time last year, Petra watched with amusement and curiosity as I made my first swipe at writing a novel (I fell short of the event's 50,000 word goal. I also fell short of my own standards artistically, but that's kind of the nature of trying to crank out 1700 words/ day). She is a Jane Austen heroine herself, in my opinion, but perhaps I am biased.
Last Saturday I traveled many miles for denominational obligations, and then many more to hear Petra sing in a chorus made up of students from schools across a wide geographic area. What is it about young people singing? Practically as the conductor brought down her hands to mark the first beat of the first measure, I began to weep. It is the sound, surely, of those beautiful young voices. It is the sentiments of the songs they were given to sing... songs about peace, one song in an African dialect, one heartfelt folksong from the British Isles, and so on. It is the look on their faces: the complete focus, the innocence (I don't care how many of them are smoking doobies and/or having sex... these are still innocent children). The tears slid down my face as I listened, rapt, to the beautiful and somehow incredibly sad sound of all our children singing their hearts out.
And I think I am still here: in that place where I see my children as they were, as they are, and as they will be... separate, whole without me, lovely and soaring.
Oh, that's Petra as Janis Joplin on Halloween.