Tag Archives: Piano

When You Take Away a Girl’s Piano…

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by Colleen

Once again, ’tis the season!  No, not THAT season-Finals Season!  And oh how festive and joyful the University of Dallas campus is.  I see people out at all hours, cavorting on the mall, and laughing in the library.  Oh wait, make that crying from lack of sleep.

Luckily, I have a fairly easy finals schedule this semester, and so I’m not going to be complaining about school.  Nope, I’m complaining about something else.

I moseyed on down the lounge in my dorm last week for a spot of piano playing only to find this:

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What? What?!  I was incensed.  I was enraged.  I was very, VERY annoyed.  C’mon, people.  Throughout the two weeks I have now been suffering from piano withdrawals.  I’ll look up from studying French and think, “Hey, PIANO! Yeah, I’m gonna go play!” only to suffer the extreme disappointment of not being able to.  I feel like I’m missing a limb.

My thought and feeling progression goes a little  something like this:

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Really?

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REALLY?

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FINE THEN.  I’ll just go watch youtube videos and melt my brain into mush.

Finals, I can handle.  This indignity-no.

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A Spring List

It has been hot these past couple of days in Western Wisconsin.  After an exceptionally long Winter, Spring has finally arrived!  But, because there was snow last week and now it is 80 plus degrees outside with crazy high humidity, it doesn’t feel as great as we all thought it would.  *Cut to me during track practice, panting, melting into a pool of sticky sweat*

Even as I complain about the heat, I realize how stupid it is to be whining at all.  But, oh do I have a low tolerance for heat!  Dallas this Fall is going to be quite the challenge…..

While this weather does make me want the cooler temperatures which I was just curing out last week back, here are some more positive things that this weather makes me want to do:

  • Drink gallons of the awful fruit punch in our fridge (which I would never stoop to in typical circumstances, being strictly a coffee girl).
  • Sit out under a Maple tree and smell the grass and plum blossoms for hours until I absorb the green that is now coming to life everywhere and not think about school ever, ever, ever.
  • Drag my piano out onto our wraparound deck and play Bach with the breeze to cool my flying fingers.
  • Never wear jeans again! (I hate the pesky things-shorts and skirts I can handle)
  • Go for long walks in the woods.
  • Stick my bare toes into cool creek water until they go pleasantly numb.

 

As for now, I won’t do any of those things.  I think I shall simply sit by and enjoy our late, late Spring.  Stay tuned for pictures of the Wisconsin Spring and happenings on the farm soon to come.  Clare has been out and about in the fields and has a slew of pictures for you all.

Tighten your belt- it’s Triduum Time!

by Colleen

I woke up this morning in the usual way for the last leg of the school year- wishing for more sleep, but knowing there was none to be attained.  But, the sun pouring golden light through my windows was all the incentive I really needed to hop out from under my covers, and the promise of a hot chocolate with breakfast wasn’t too bad either.  What was really on my mind was that today is the day, Holy Thursday, the start of what is known in the Catholic Church as the Triduum. 
These three days, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, lead up to Easter Sunday, and while filled with the potential of many graces and reflection  of one’s relationship with God, are slightly stressful for an organist.  Especially when one is the only organist for a parish.  Especially when that person is me.  I have been known to get a little cranky during these days, a mood that is typically out of character for me.  But, this year being my last year as the chief organist at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, I don’t feel so cranky anymore.  In fact, when I woke of this morning, I was (dare I say it?) excited for the start of this most holy trio of days.  And I’ll try to keep that cheery outlook in place as I lug my six or so accompaniment books across the road for the start of this church marathon.  Wish me luck (and grace) as I make my way towards the starting line!

A Transfiguration of Sorts

Colleen

It was a blustery and cold morning, not unusual for early spring in Wisconsin. The rain fell fast and hard, aided by a strong wind upon the ridge-top, and the skies were an iron gray, creating a dark and drear atmosphere. So much rain and so much wind must have been the main factor behind the sudden power outage. At one moment I was looking up the price of airline tickets to Oklahoma and the next poof! A blank screen. I was not disturbed. Everything I really needed was in working order, namely the trusty wood stove that kicked out its comforting heat steadily.

The only problem this did present was across the road. Of course, today being Sunday, the family would be heading out to mass at the dusky, rose-red brick Catholic church right across the road from our home. I was interested to observe a mass sans electricity.

When I walked into the front doors of church, the romantic in me was immediately pleased. Candles were being lit, adorning the altar mainly and casting a mellow glow over the smooth caramel walls. I walked up the two flights stairs to the choir loft to perform my job. I’m then one and only organist for St. Peter’s Parish The power outage had made it impossible for me to play the electric organ we have, so I was relegated to the piano for the morning. This made me very happy because I am a pianist and refuse to play the organ properly on a normal Sunday. The foot pedals are always turned off, and I’ve never attempted to try to learn how to use any of the controls but on, off, loud, and soft. The old people in the parish adore me for playing the organ (I guess you were right, Mom), and I smile and nod and pretend I like it just as much as they.

I played the piano by candle light, spilling weakly over my music, and enjoyed the special air the darkness outside, counteracted by amber candle glow inside, created. The gospel was on the Transfiguration of Jesus today, and I thought it especially relevant. We were given our own transfiguration of the church today.

Darkness and light, the battle ever rages, even within the church. But, the light always triumphs: the electricity flicked on without fanfare in the middle of the Sanctus.