Friday, April 07, 2006


It was either a mistake or a godsend for me to start posting about songs. After I reminisced about Jeanette MacDonald, I visited iTunes to see if they offered any of her music. And there it was - Italian Street Song from "Naughty Marietta." If you read my previous post, you can read the lyrics. They're nonsensical and look pretty ridiculous without the music to accompany them, but I posted them anyway.

So I spent my $.99 to download the song. It was as thrilling as I remembered! Her gorgeous voice soars over the orchestra effortlessly. She could really hit those high notes. In particular, there is one high note right at the end of the song, the next-to-last note. You can tell the song is about to end, that she is probably ready to hit the final note, and you wait. And wait. She is still singing the high note. You wait some more.

By this time, in the olden days of record players, you probably would think the record was "stuck." It seems impossible for a human being to hold such a high note for that long a time. I know that we live in a era of impatience, in a society that demands everything fast and immediate - but even that could not explain my uneasiness at hearing her hold that note. The whole time I was waiting, thoughts were racing through my head. Is it possible to hold a note that long? Did my download have a glitch? Was she turning blue in the face, a visual scene that I missed because I only had the audio experience?

Finally - and I do mean FINALLY - she released the note with great fanfare, her voice sliding down to the very last note, with the orchestra madly dashing about ecstatically to carry the song to its dramatic conclusion.

That was one of the longest few seconds I have ever spent! I realized I had even been holding my breath while she was holding that high note. Whew! I took a deep breath and relaxed.

It didn't take long before I could see the whole experience as a metaphor for our house situation. We cleaned, we stored, we packed, we staged, we put the house on the market, and we had showings. With great anticipation, we knew we were approaching that high note, and from the first showing on, we have held that high note. We can't end the song until the house is sold; we can't build the new house until the house is sold. In short - we are holding the high note, and, my friends, I can assure you our collective face is the color of one of Maine's ripe blueberries.

How I want to relinquish the high note, beautiful though it may be, and end the song in a flurry of violins and drums and trumpets and cymbals! I know we will be involved in many other "songs" in our lives, and we'll be starting another one soon after we finish this one, but oh, please, please - we need to finish this song!

There's only so long a person can hold a high note like that. Even the great Jeanette MacDonald had to release it sooner or later.

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