{#npm2: asynchronous}

Some mornings are made for silence.

Silence and tea, or, if you’re not me, silence and coffee. A good beginning is to sit by the window and silently start the day, staring out at the garden box, one of which is still producing ragged overwintered calendula, and a few new lipstick-scarlet poppies. Silence – and darkness – is the hallmark of the Tenebrae service some Protestants celebrate the Friday before Easter. Tenebrae means “shadows” in Latin, and is a service of acknowledgement of the shadows of life, of dark times, pain and suffering. I’m a “ringer” for a local Presbyterian church chorus, so I, with nine other people, masked and properly distanced, took part in filming the achingly gorgeous choral music for a Tenebrae service this Friday… last Sunday night.

We’d filmed Palm Sunday services the previous Thursday night. Oh, and Easter? That was Wednesday.

Everything these days is way, way out of sync, and it feels like we’re just running to catch up with the natural rhythm of things.

muffled in masks, lips
carve lyrics with crisp diction
chasing our heartbeat

Did you know that NPR wants your original poetry? Check out the ways in which you can submit a mini-poem on social media! Meanwhile, Poetry Friday is graciously hosted today by Cousin Mary Lee, whose haiku are always the proper sort. Stop by and succor yourself with more wonderful poetry – don’t miss the Swagger project who took Pat Schnieder’s “The Moon. Ten Times” poem and recreated it beautifully, or the progressive poem.

Happy National Poetry Month!

12 Replies to “{#npm2: asynchronous}”

  1. I love what I learn from reading blog posts. Your post sent me off to learn more about the Tenebrae service. I love that your choir’s still singing with special masks. I’ve been attending church on Zoom so I make sure I’m muted and sing my heart out, but will return in person soon and we’re not allowed to sing. It’s an upside down world for sure. Loved your haiku and the crisp sound of that second line. I can’t imagine the crisp diction that must be required for singing through a mask.

  2. All the teaching I’ve been doing is synchronous, but in order for the children to have what they need, we plan the whole month out and distribute materials on the first Wednesday. This is WAAAY different than how I’d come to plan in the last 10 years, much more general and fluid, so that I often sign my emails at school “Last-Minute Mordhorst.” All year my sense of time has been off, things happening fast and slow simultaneously, “chasing my heartbeat.” Thanks for the NPR tip!

  3. My brother is a choir director at his church & thus far they have done their singing out of doors, maskless, then play the film on Sundays. I will let him know that there are certain masks that could be helpful. Yes, they’re ‘out of sync’ too as are we all are. I like that you are still singing, Tanita. That must be a joy, masked or not. Happy Easter “tomorrow”!

  4. I was at the dentist this morning, and we know each other from way back when our daughters where both in elementary school. We were talking about the last year, and I said last year the world turned upside down… Yes we are out of sync, whatever sync used to look like, we’ll have to make a new one. Thanks for the lovely sculpted haiku, it made my heart skip beat!

  5. Out of sync and out of whack, or just plain whack. No matter how much some want a kind of normal back, it’s just not. (I don’t let myself think too often: nor may it EVER be…)

  6. Yes! The world is out of sync. We recorded Palm Sunday one week before that service and then played lived on Palm Sunday for those in church. (We were in the atrium, 6 feet apart and masked while the attendees were in the sanctuary.) Then, after the service, we recorded the Easter song.

    I see folks singing in masks, but I don’t know how they do it. I have enough trouble just speaking.
    Chasing our heartbeats indeed.

    1. @Tricia Stohr-Hunt: My mask is a singer’s mask; roomy, rigid, and boned with underwire so it makes a beak, pulling cloth away from my face. There’s plenty of room, and with practice you can convince yourself you’re not suffocating and sustain a note… but the warmer it gets, the harder it gets. Fortunately, with the doors open it’s doable, but… yeah. It’s not my favorite, but it gets the job done.

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