• The highest forms of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion. Richard Feynman
    "The Making of a Scientist", What Do You Care What Other People Think?

Kiya on Twitter

Other Blogs

  • Opet Again
    Just popping in to remind everyone that with the Opet season upon us again, the Emboatening Crew is still rolling to support Kiva loans. (My office renovations are going well if slowly, so who knows if that means I’ll get more work done when they’re done.)
  • CowOfGold Moving
    An update on my previous post: Cow of Gold will have a new home here when the maintainer has a chance to put up the site again (with some revisions, apparently).
  • Minor Call for Nerdy Action
    I know I’ve been profoundly absent for a while – my research stuff has gone a bit by the wayside – but I wanted to bring something to people’s attention: The Egyptian mythology/symbology resource “Cow of Gold is hosted on Wikispaces, which is Going Away. Not all of the pages of Cow of Gold are […]
  • Hills of the Horizon: The Past is Another Country
    The problem with extrapolation from history is that nothing is testable. The evolution of a religion over time is not a predictable and easily comprehensible thing, where we can look at a point in time and say, "It was like this then, so it would be like that now." The process of deciding what needs […]

Bread and Roses

Let’s just stick to this image:

A tall woman comes up to the front of the chapel, pink hat over steel hair and freckled brown skin. When she begins to sing her voice is uneven, imperfect, strained:

“Put on your face….”

She makes it through the verse, takes a breath.

The congregation starts in, unevenly, with our part:

“But no one knows me, no one ever will…”

Slowly, people begin to stand. Harmonies start to emerge, from people who know them, more people stand, voices gain confidence.

The soloist tackles the next part, and her voice is stronger, without the crackling anxiousness of the opening verse.

The congregation backs her, supports her.

“There must be someone who understands….”

A few people stomp the beat, enough to sound a heavy thud in a plain white meetinghouse which was certainly not anticipating such shenanigans.

“Let it out now, let it out now, let it out now….”

Then the steady revival-meeting clap, the call and response, the uneven ending from people not sure how many iterations that unspoken repeat at the end of that measure signed us all up for.

“I got the feeling you understand….”

She is singing strong, free, without any of the hesitancies of her first verse, her arms swinging as she claps the beat, her shoulders loose. What might have been fear has been transformed into this power, a clean, clear voice, a one-woman riot.

This is what congregations are for. Communities. The village it takes.

Comments are closed.