Saturday, December 7, 2019

Angel voices

Here is a picture of me I can stand, soft focus, good light, all that. After I posted that photo on Insta, it reminded me of another image—one of my mother, taken on a Sunday morning many years ago, when she'd just returned from church. I suppose it was the red scarf that made me think of it, also the similar shapes of our faces, the identical line of our noses. Usually, it is my father's face I see in the mirror these days, but in this photo, I look more like my mother. Perhaps that is why I like it. Much as love my father, it's disconcerting to see his face staring back at me in the bleakness of morning. This photo of my mom makes me wish I could have this day back, though I know to be happy that we had it at all.

I'm off to Queens this morning, where our choir will perform the first of three concerts for the season. I've enjoyed the music this term, and yet another of my friends has now joined the group, bringing the number of people I have brought to our choir to three. It's lovely to see my friends every week and make music together. I actually have four dear friends in the group, as it was my closest ghostwriting cohort who first invited me there. One of my neighbors then joined, followed a year later by a woman I grew up with in Kingston, Jamaica, who lived with our family when we were in high school (her father was my dad's best friend, and he and his wife were working overseas at the time), and with whom I shared a bedroom for several years. As you can imagine, we know each other like sisters. 

Then last Spring, another friend of mine joined, a woman I met on the first day of college orientation, my very first friend in New York City. We were standing next to each other in a line to register for courses; she was a Math major who was nervous about our freshman English requirement, and I was an English major who was nervous about Math, so we pledged to help each other and have been best buds ever since. All my friends in choir have wonderful voices, far better than mine, but I know when to just mouth a note that's too high and would come out as a squeak, and my ear for pitch is fine, so all is well. 

My husband, who knows my solo singing voice, shakes his head at my brazenness in actually joining a choir. But he shows up for our concerts anyway. He and our children and their loves are all planning to attend the family and friends concert later this week. My daughter and her boyfriend, bless them, attend every time. So does my friend Leslie. Choir is, for me, a completely stress-free activity. It's a performance, and yet I don't get nervous at all. Perhaps it's so outside my sphere of talent that I just embrace the experience. Plus I really enjoy our choir director and my fellow choir members, a lot of them delightfully quirky souls, including, I dare say, my four angel-voiced friends.


  1. You look gorgeous. Whatever the Filter. Can I have some of it!
    I envy you this perfect choir. I have struggled with several and may have given up.

  2. You do look like your mother, and it's not just the scarf. If I joined a choir someone would be very politely asking me to leave. :D

  3. There is so much beauty in your posts, not just the beauty of faces but also of feelings. This is such a soothing read.

    Red becomes you, as it did your mom. You do look very like her. And you will have your memories forever. No one can take those away.

    Red makes me look like I have a raging fever :) At Christmas I wear turquoise instead, which is kind of Christmassy, right? lol

  4. You are incredibly beautiful. Just accept it, my darling friend.
    I love how you love your choir. What a fine and healthy thing you have chosen as an activity. I'm sure your voice is fine.
    And isn't it nice when everyone comes out to see and support the mama? After all of the performances and sports and everything else that children do that parents show up for, it's only right. And fitting.

  5. What a lovely set of photos---two beautiful women. I too would enjoy hearing you sing. I do the same though not in a choir sadly.

  6. Two lovely ladies, two lovely photos. Ms. Moon is right, just accept that you are beautiful, although I struggle the same way. My father always told me I was ugly, and then I had Bell's palsy which left me with a crooked face. Ah well.

    I would love to sing in a choir and have even toyed with the idea of taking singing lessons except I am so embarrassed by how bad my singing voice is. I love to sing though.

    I hope you have a lovely day.

  7. Two beautiful photos of two very beautiful women. What a treasure to have. When I read of your long-time history where you live and long-time friendships you have, it makes me wonder what my life might have been like if I had not moved so often. The thought of still being friends with someone I met on the first day of college is like a dream. There is such treasures in these long histories of love.

  8. Filters !
    Your Mum had those lines as her badges of honour .She had earned them and so have you and so have I .Does your man EVER say I'm not kissing those ? No and neither does mine .
    We owe it to the women who come after us so say "this is who we are " - and we are proud of it .
    NB : regard this as a hug sis xx

  9. Oh I love the photo of you and your mom. How beautiful you two lovely women are! It is so wonderful seeing how much you favor one another.

    Best friends are the way to keep our souls young. I am very happy that you have your friends with you and I bet that your voice is just beautiful. Me... I cannot carry a tune in a bucket lol... seriously. There was a song on the radio today that I really liked by Lizzo called Good As Hell and I really like her music and I was thinking today that I really wish I could sing.. But I try not to make anyone cry when I do sing with the radio. lol...
    Have a great time with your concerts and have fun with your friends... xx Hugs

  10. Beautiful photos of both you and your mom. I can definitely see the similarities, both physical and spiritual! Maybe you don't find choir stressful because you're singing in a group, supported by others, rather than having to stand out on your own. (I know I would stress out if I were singing solo, but I can sing in a group.) Plus there are the social aspects, which sound pretty great!