The Other Thing I Like About Walks

I like walks because I live in a beautiful place and getting to move slowly through it is an enormous treat. My brain often shuts down and I can just enjoy things without having to think about them half-to-death.

But the other thing I like about walking is that sometimes my brain doesn’t shut down, but just goes off in its own directions. So, this morning, while I was stuck with the earworm of “It is Well With My Soul” (Holy shit, do not go to YouTube and look for “It is Well With My Soul” unless you want to go down a rabbit hole of despair at how Contemporary Christian Music can ruin every single thing with the judicious use of terrible synthesizers. I almost can’t go on with my post. I wonder–and maybe this is not a fair question–did these people never hear that song in church? And don’t even get me started on all the grief porn now attached to the song. Lord almighty. Let us all listen to Marion Williams singing it so that at least I can get on with my day. Granted, this is not how we sang it in church. But you can bet I will be singing it like this in the shower.  Oh, wait, here is a group doing it with the right call and response part on the chorus. All they need is a piano. [Yes, I know, they don’t believe in pianos in church. I was making a joke.])

People, look back at that last paragraph. We are still in the middle of a sentence. That one that starts “So, this morning, wile I was…” That hasn’t ever ended. I started writing it twenty minutes ago, but got completely off track. I’m almost not sure how to get back to it. We were on a path, we got sidetracked and we’ve got to either get back to the main path right now or give up on continuing on that way. But how do I punctuate an indication that we’re back on the main trail? We’re outside of the parentheses and beyond a YouTube video. We have a whole new paragraph here in a sentence that has not ended. I’m just going to pick it back up in the next paragraph. It’s all I can do. And to think Franzen thinks this kind of meta-playfulness sucks. Whatever, Franzen. I have a new paragraph in the middle of my sentence. What do you have? Oh, right. Millions of dollars. Anyway…

Walking, earworm, and I realized that this part of writing sucks so bad because I just don’t give a shit about what these characters are doing right now. Action, shmaction. I want to know about the kid who came back from the future and who must surely be running out of drugs by now. And so I’m going to write about him.

Hurray!

10 thoughts on “The Other Thing I Like About Walks

  1. Not that you would’ve forgotten, but Franzen sucks.

    I, too, am (unsurprisingly) an “It Is Well” purist. Don’t fool around with the good stuff, people. I AM in favor of singing it a little (or lot) faster than they are. But I’m also in favor of pews with friggin padding on them so your butt isn’t sore at the end of the hour, so what do I know? Hell, my butt would be sore by the time the song was over.

    Oooh, dynamics…!

  2. I am also jealous of their harmonies. Not that I don’t love you, Methodist Church, but let’s be honest. In the Methodist Church, you have the choir singing the notes on the page but slower and more show-offy than necessary, a handful of grandmas who are singing three octaves above what the human ear can comfortably hear, two dogs barking at the high-pitched grandma singing, three men who are singing faster than everyone else, teenage boys just mouthing the words because singing is not cool, a pastor who is singing louder than everyone else, two babies crying, and everyone else, each of whom are singing in their own peculiar key.

    In a Methodist church, the pianist/organist is not just the accompanist. She is literally holding the whole hymn together by force of will.

    It’s why, even though they do it every year, there’s always a moment of supreme discomfort when they have to sing “Silent Night” a capella on Christmas Eve. We Methodists depend on the organist to actually perform the song while we make joyful noises that kind of approximate the melody.

    Anyway, I like “It is Well” at the pace I walk. It makes a nice meditation.

  3. This is one of the reasons that corporate worship has become more and more foreign to me. We just don’t sing these things the way they were supposed to be sung…if we sing them at all. Most places are content with having you stand there for ten minutes and repeat a mantra-style elementary phrase like “Jesus, I adore you; Jesus, I love you” over and over again.

    Words–and their poetic expression in song–are being excised from the worship experience.

    But alas, this is still a favourite hymn of mine ranking below only…crap, it just happened again. My brain is broken. I can’t think of basic things. Anyway, it’s a hymn set to Celtic music that a lot of people love and that Van Morrison covered. That one and and “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”

  4. I’m an Episcopalian. We’re still singing the same songs exactly that same way that we sang them 400 years ago. :-) And right now, we’re in the middle of the Season of Dirges, otherwise known as Lent.

    BTW, “It Is Well With My Soul” is one of my funeral songs, along with “Be Still, My Soul”.

  5. Not that I’ve been in the last six months (pediatricians’ strong suggestions), but my church added one or two traditional songs to the weekly service, which is mostly contemporary, and response was overwhelmingly positive. They don’t mess with stuff too much either, and I agree that’s the key.

    Y’all, when thinking about your funeral hymns, remember that if your family attends with any regularity, they’ll have to hear those songs repeatedly in the future. And may subsequently have to hustle out of the room before completely losing composure.

  6. My family literally pulls out “Amazing Grace” for every damn thing like it’s our theme song–funerals, weddings, baptisms, really satisfying poops. The emotional roller coaster I go on when I hear that song is just… ugh.

  7. “Amazing Grace” will always and forever be linked to Star Trek for me, thanks to “The Wrath of Khan”. But that’s okay…I really like Star Trek.

    Live long and prosper, dudes. }}:-) (Klingon emoticon)

  8. “In the Methodist Church, you have the choir singing the notes on the page but slower and more show-offy than necessary, a handful of grandmas who are singing three octaves above what the human ear can comfortably hear, two dogs barking at the high-pitched grandma singing, three men who are singing faster than everyone else, teenage boys just mouthing the words because singing is not cool, a pastor who is singing louder than everyone else, two babies crying, and everyone else, each of whom are singing in their own peculiar key”

    This is how the Lutherans do it too, expcet slower and more somberly. (and boring)

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