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Three score and ten or more

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sometimes Coothood Sucks

In order to clarify the title, I could remind folks of some of the eternal organ recitals that have come into these columns as I kvetched about Janet's surgeries, my surgeries, neuropathies, strokes and all these types of things.  This is nature and, up to this time, except for brief exceptions I have still gloried in the advantages of coothood.  (People hold the door for you, you get handicapped parking, senior discounts at the movies and restaurants,etc.)

Tonight I am depressed about coothood.  I have to explain this a little as well.  All my life I have been a singer.  I have sung in and even directed community choirs, regional choirs, church choirs, and sung leading roles in the odd musical play.  I have even sung in a couple of operas.  I often  get asked to sing at funerals. and never turn anyone down if I can get to the church on time (some funeral directors have been nonplussed because I sing free of charge, which I guess is not always true.)  I just love to sing.

When I have sung in choirs it has often been my smug self satisfied pleasure to offer to sing either Bass or Tenor which ever was needed (and to do so).  As a Bass I have usually been one of the section leaders, the guy who gets the part figured out early and well, and that those who are unsure can listen to or follow. (As a tenor, I have often been one of the followers).

I just came home from our community choir rehearsal.  We are singing Vivaldi's Gloria and a couple of Christmas carols in a program at the University that will include the local Junior or children's choir and the University Singers (singing their own stuff, of course.)

Age has withered my ability to do the job.  I work on the music at home until I feel that I have it conquered, then go to rehearsal and just can't keep it together.  I do fairly well on the notes but as far as the tempos are concerned it is like I have forgotten how to count.  I have not only become one of the "followers", but I have become one of the singers to whom the director gives Loooong Looks, followed by a resigned shake of the head or shrug, as if he knows that it is hopeless.

Singing has become a lot less fun, and I suspect that this may be the last year I will do any serious choir singing. I am depressed.  At least Janet won't shake her head at me as I sing to her at bedtime.


At 8:10 AM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Yes, that does sound depressing. I stopped singing in public years ago and sometimes even embarrass myself in the shower.

You could sing Bass or Tenor? Wow!

At 4:45 PM, Anonymous kathleen said...

Have you thought about a rock career?;)

Sorry you are depressed about losing something you love so much. Is it possible that your range is not as wide and narrowing it a bit would solve the problem for now?

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Norma said...

I know this is upsetting--you were blessed to be a blessing for a long time. And we miss those things at which we excelled. Like they've been stolen.

I had a very dissimilar experience. About 3 years ago I joined the church choir and just loved it. I thought I'd get my voice back, borrowed a little electronic piano to practice at home, etc. After a year, it was still no where in sight. So I quit. I guess you can't stop for 50 years and then expect it to come back when you call.


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