Wednesday, May 30, 2012

One more star, one more stripe

It's been a week.  Over a week, actually, since I last posted.  This is unusual for me.  But it's been a week.  You don't need the details... and frankly, I just don't want to get into it.  Suffice it to say, my emotions have been all over the map.

But right now I am listening to some Sara Bareilles, Lilian is still asleep (at 10:52 AM!!!) and everyone else is gone.  I'm enjoying some down time.  Should I be vacuuming, emptying garbages and sorting laundry?  Oh, undoubtedly.  There is a very good chance I will regret this potentially unwise use of time later.  But maybe it's not unwise, after all.  I think maybe I need this sit still and be quiet time.

Life is busy in May.  I've long since realized that May exceeds even December in terms of hectic.  But when I glance at my calendar I realize that things aren't about to get easier any time soon.  I have so many things penciled into each and every square in every shade of pink, orange, green and blue pen that the whole month of June looks like a firecracker ready to explode.
3 days till school's out.
4 days till Little Red Riding Hood.  (We're going up Friday, actually, and spending the night.)
5 days till Lilian's birthday.
11 days till San Diego.
16 days till Ragnar.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
(Yes, I realize I'm mixing my metaphors...fireworks and icebergs don't tend to go together.  Work with me here, people.)

So I'm busy.  Maybe I'll be able to truly take time off somewhere around the second week of July.  We'll see.  So what that I've somehow found myself in charge of numerous events?  (An example:  Ragnar team captain...more work than I thought it would be.)  It's all good stuff.  I just need to be thankful for and savor the experiences, yes?  Delve into the details and find the joy in them.  At least that's what I keep telling myself.  Because as much as I am physically busy, the stress comes from trying to mentally keep it all straight in my head.  And in the meantime, I've decided that a spotless house and a perfectly manicured yard is overrated.

In a completely unrelated change of topic but something I have been thinking about nonetheless...
In my voice recital last night I sang "The Flagmaker, 1775" from Songs for a New World.  All about a woman whose son and husband are fighting the British in the Revolutionary War.  She's worried, scared, frustrated, so she spends her time more star, one more stripe.

With the guns flaring, and the drums pounding
There's no hope of getting rest.
With the lights glaring, and the calls sounding
And the clenching in your chest.

When the man's in battle and the baby's rattle
Only makes you more depressed...
The wise woman does what she knows.
If it's fighting she fights. If it's sewing she sews.
When the tension inside overflows and goes too far...

One more star, one more stripe, to escape your lonely bed.
One more star, one more stripe, join the blue, the white and red.
One more star, one more stripe, as you pray your child's not dead.

With the roof leaking, and walls wetter
And the night as black as pitch.
With the wind shrieking, and his last letter
Says he's fighting in a ditch.
Then the candle flickers, and the river bickers
What else can you do but stitch?

One more star, one more stripe, til you feel the rising sun.
One more star, one more stripe, til this foolishness is done.
One more star, one more stripe. Who'll be waiting when we've won?

Grab a needle, grab a thimble if it's all that keeps you sane.
Think of freedom as a symbol, think of justice as a gain.
Think of life with independence, think of muskets and brigades
Think of taking the oppressors, think of banners and parades.

When the gate creaks
And the paint cracks
And the cat cries
And the night crawls
Raise a flag!
Raise a flag!
Raise a flag til you're free!

One more star, one more stripe, til this bloodshed's finally through.
One more star, one more stripe, til they come back home to you.
One more star, one more stripe, when there's nothing you can do.

If they take all the things
That define what you were and are...
One more star...  

I really dug into this performance, really put myself into the character.  By mid-song I was more or less into full mental break down mode as the character finds herself trying hard not to completely lose it.  It  Well, yes...actually.  It's always a neat challenge and experience when you can feel the song you are performing well enough to really become the character.  I admire this woman.  And the other men and women like her who fought for our independence, for our freedoms.  I think we take those freedoms for granted today.  And I think that we are all too willing to give them up in the name of "security."  Freedom comes with risks.  If you want to be truly free, then you have to understand that things like 9/11 can happen.  Ask yourself....15 years ago if you could see into the future and watch yourself try to board a plane, would you be appalled at all the hoops we have to jump through? To the point that we are willingly walking through full body scanners, letting strangers see us nude, just so we can fly?  With only the slightest bit of a whimper from the public as a whole.  Scanners that are so graphic that children under 12 aren't allowed to walk through because the images are too close to child porn?  But we feel safer, right?  So it's all okay.  It's a slippery slope, my friends.

My privacy has been breached this past week.  It's a little bit funny if you think about it, because I spend a lot of time being anything but private as I share all sorts of details about my life on Facebook and this blog.  And is MY CHOICE as to what I share.  I live a small life.  Valuable to maybe just a small handful of people.   But the thought of someone snooping through my private life without my consent, bothers me more than I can tell.  I feel violated.  Realistically, however, there is nothing I can do about it so I go on with my more star, one more stripe.

No comments: