May 10th, 2007

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Choir practice

One of those wonderful moments.   David told us to pull out three things, one of them being a little Thomas Tallis piece "If Ye Love Me."   I'd never seen it before.  Some had.   It's lovely and of course very 16th c.   So...we just started singing it.  And there it was, this little Renaissance jewel coming to life in our bodies as lungs drew breath, emerging from our mouths trying to shape Tudor vowels...enchanting.  It wasn't particularly hard to sight read (which didn't prevent my making mistakes...) but it's still complicated music, in its own way.   We worked on it awhile.  It got better.  One of David's great talents is the ability to tweak us, part by part and singer by singer, so the music "clarifies" through a rehearsal, finally emerging (as in this case) as a faceted and polished gem. 

We got the overtone.   When that happens, he beams at us.  I think he must feel it the way I do, that suddenly the heavens of music open up and light pours down the tones, shimmering.

The rest of the rehearsal was sheer brutal work.  More modern stuff.  He keeps saying we'll like it in the end, but several of us don't think so.  I'm one of those who doesn't think so.   I especially don't think something that requires me to race up a sixteenth-note staircase to a note that is at the very top of my range is ever going to make me happy.  OTOH, it's a learning experience, even if what I learn is  "I hope we don't sing that one very often."   By the end of the evening, I was hitting the high note...but at the 9 am service on a Sunday morning???
woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Prefixes: a rant against

These days, when you fill out an email form to communicate with your Senator, Congresscritter, and other notables of this type (and you have to fill out a form...you can't, of course, just email them as if they were ordinary people), you have to use a prefix.   There is no selection for "none" just as there is often no selection for "other" in the list of topics they'll let you email them about.

I resent havng to do this.  I want to use my name...my plain old unvarnished name...without a "Mrs." or "Ms. or "Miss" to it.  Just the name.  The choice of a prefix carries with it a host of assumptions for women.  That you are married (or not), that you are a rebellious feminist (or not.)   "Ms" is still seen as an evasion of marital status (I've been told 'If you don't mind being married, you shouldn't mind being "Mrs.")  Well, but the correct use of "Mrs" is with the husband's name.   "Mrs. John Doe" not "Mrs Jane Doe".  Unless of course Jane is divorced, and even then she is supposed to use her maiden name instead of her given name  "Mrs. Smith Doe." 

And it's stupid.  There is no legitimate reason for my political representatives (especially since they never represent MY views) to have a prefix from which to make their analytical assumptions.   "Oh, well, toss that one--it's a feminist, obviously..." or "I guess we ought to read this one--it's a mizzus--but wait, she used her own first name, she's probably a feminist trying to pretend to be married."

Mind you, the use of the prefix doesn't guarantee any respect, as one might hope.  A Mr. Doe will be addressed as Mr. Doe.  A Mrs. Doe, with her prefix clearly written on her letter/application/other document is very likely to be (depending on her age and degree of pulchritude) addressed as honey, sweetie, hon, or her first name if it's known.  And a truncated form of it, at that.     If the prefix actually resulted in respectful treatment, it might be worth it.  But it doesn't.

And I've just fought my way through a couple more of these darn things.  I am not a Mrs.  I am not  a Ms.   I am who I am.   The name alone should be enough.   (When forced to it by the stupid forms, I either alternate for a few days, or pick the one I think will do the most good at that site.)
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