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glorious fiasco

We got there on time. The choir was still in the sanctuary rehearsing but because the 8 o'clock handbell choir rang we had some rearranging to do. Some of my bells were missing, presumably already in the sanctuary to accompany the psalm. Talked to Joey and Ashley, who are getting married on Halloween but Joey just scored this job with the USDA and they need him to start on October 12. In Fort Worth. He'll get 3 days off for the wedding and then he's gotta go back. Ashley's dressmaker has fucked it up and she's not scheduled to get the dress until 2 weeks before the wedding, which doesn't really leave enough time to get the bustle made. So they're all stressing out and I'm trying to commiserate but I'm not in a comfortable place in my life to do that. Then Martha comes in and says hi. I'm so glad she's ringing with us. She's sincere and has some musical experience and she can't remember my name so I reminded her and we prepared to carry my table into the sanctuary but my table is the LAST to go, not the first. And from there things just continue to decline, in a laughable and uplifting way that almost brings me to tears but doesn't.

None of my bells are ringing because I've got 'em upside down, so distracted have I become. I've lined em up wrong, too, so I'm grabbing the wrong ones and making a God-awful racket. After we've run through half the piece just once Amy C. comes in and asks, "Are you doing Godly Play today?" "Am I?" I say. "Yeah. It's the 10 Best Ways." "If I'm on the schedule I must be teaching but I've got to ring first." "OK. I'll go set it up." She's eating trail mix from a clear cellophane bag. We ring the piece again, this time a bit more successfully. One more time and we have 3 minutes before we play it for real

I rush in to Amy H and tell her I'm sorry I flaked but I'm just not ready to tell the story. She understands completely. "My life is just so..." "I know. It's OK." And it was OK. She's got my back. We talked a bit; I met some of the kids I hadn't met before. Gotta go ring. As I'm entering the sanctuary there's Steve coming looking for me. "I'm coming" I say. "I'm sorry. I'm supposed to teach Godly Play. I flaked out. Sorry I made you wait for me." Steve leaned across the table and said, "Becky, it's OK. We would have waited another 10 minutes for you."

Smile.

Breathe.

The actual ringing was by far the best I'd played it that morning. Barbara complimented me before the choir began processing. Josie broke procession to come over and pay me a compliment. As I looked around the church I saw Dave sitting there in the back pew. When did he arrive? I helped carry the bells out, checked that Amy was doing OK with her 4 kids in Godly Play. Told her, "Dave's here. I'm gonna go sit with him, which is much harder work than what I'd do here." Which isn't altogether true. It's not hard to sit next to him in church. We passed notes back and forth about plans for after church. A baby shrieked and we both laughed. And though I don't want to go back to the way it was, and don't want to try again, and know that we're headed for bankruptcy and divorce, I'm OK with it. Life throws me all these little curve balls and I swing at them the best I can. Sometimes I connect; sometimes it's a pop fly; sometimes a foul. Sometimes I totally whiff it. But I've got teammates, and opponents, and overall the game's congenial. And where the baseball analogy came from I have no idea.

Comments

auntie m said…
another fine piece of writing <3
Ana said…
Beautifully written... made me worry and smile. And I liked the baseball analogy. It fits. I wanna be the relief pitcher.

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wotd: temporize

temporize \TEM-puh-ryz\, intransitive verb:
1. To be indecisive or evasive in order to gain time or delay action.
2. To comply with the time or occasion; to yield to prevailing opinion or circumstances.
3. To engage in discussions or negotiations so as to gain time (usually followed by 'with').
4. To come to terms (usually followed by 'with').

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