I haven't sung in the local community chorus for a few years. I decided to re-join this semester, but after tonight, I'm seriously re-thinking that decision. I'd forgotten how the community chorus is basically a religious singing group despite the fact it is a course offered by the local community college and is funded by the state. After several years of not singing religious songs, I'm finding them harder to swallow.

There is a new director. The problem is he's just as religious as the old director. Last week at the meet-and-greet, I offered to help him by creating audio files to help chorus members learn their parts. Just before practice tonight, I wanted to touch bases with him. Someone took several minutes of his time while I waited patiently. All I wanted to know was which song to tackle this week. I was serious about getting involved again and making a difference. He was rather dismissive of me, rude even. He asked if I might have time afterward. "No," I said. "I may have to leave early because of health issues." I never know what my body is going to do. It turned out I made it through practice, but I was on the verge of tears the whole time. I had that "no good deed goes unpunished" feeling from talking to the director. I also had that completely alone feeling that you can only get in a room full of people who would instantly shun you if they knew who you really are.

It didn't help that we are singing a bunch of songs the director wrote and that they're all religious and all in English. If I must sing a religious song, I prefer it to be in a language I don't understand. Also, I don't much care for the pieces he wrote. We have so many brilliant composers from which to choose. Why are we singing crap our brand new director wrote? This seems like an exercise in narcissism to me.  

Sometimes exposure to a piece makes me like it more. This could happen, I suppose, but I sincerely hate the overt religious pap and the director's little speeches: "Think how Mary must have felt when she learned she was giving birth to our savior." Blecch. He wrote three pieces about Mary. (Was it three? I think so, but I don't want to look at my music again tonight.) Yeah, this is the Christmas concert, but damn. Some people don't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. Some people are smart enough to realize that if Mary existed, she made up some crazy-ass story about being impregnated by the Holy Spirit so she wouldn't get in trouble. Let's sing a song about that:

Joseph and I, we fucked too soon, and if by my father 'tis known,

He'll take me out to the village gate and there by the town I'll be stoned.

I must form a lie--it needn't be sly--my people believe crazy things.

I'll say it's god's child, his son meek and mild. All hail the new king of kings!

Now all I need is a good choral arrangement. Do you think the chorus would sing it? I'll even take out the word "fucked" so as not to bruise their tender sensibilities. There should be at least one song that reflects my views, considering how many years of my life I've given to the chorus. Just one song. Just one. I'd even take one that was less offensive, maybe something about the beauty wrought by evolution. You know, something like this:

“There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

Think the chorus director would choose that? Think the chorus members would sing it? Neither do I.

Of course, if I say anything, I'll be ostracized...well, more than I already am, that is. It would just get worse if I said, "Hey, not everybody's a Christian. Maybe we should sing a few more secular songs and cut out chatter about religion during rehearsal?" That wouldn't go over very well considering almost everyone in the chorus is a Christian.

This is a page from what I now call my "mean" blog. I don't keep up with it anymore because I want to be less angry and also because no one ever read it but me: http://www.atheistinfundyland.com/?cat=19 . It's a long read, but it expresses my frustrations with the chorus. If you read other parts of the blog, you'll see how palpable is my frustration with the whole fucking community and my family. I feel trapped because I'm disabled and can't move away. I decided that if I couldn't find a place where I fit in, I would try harder to fit in here. Apparently, that isn't working out very well for me.

After practice was over, I did break down and cry. Chorus? I don't fit in. I don't fit in anywhere. Should I continue to attend regardless of how I felt tonight?

The even larger question that looms over me is this: How long can I continue to live this life of ostracization and loneliness? 

Views: 513

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Maybe he'd be interested in programming some Eric Whitacre!  Though if you really want an arrangement of your poetry, I'd talk to Tim Minchen!

Beautiful harmonies and dissonance of Whitacre's work project a strength of sound wrapped in velvet. I can't understand any of the words; music must be difficult. 

As a veteran of many choirs, I gotta say it sounds extremely difficult. It's gorgeous, but those sustained notes have got to be killer.

Oh! I just cannot resist: 

 I don't like that Tim Minchin is perpetuating the stereotype of the airhead woman   With him the so-rational male.

Joseph and I, we fucked too soon, and if by my father 'tis known,

He'll take me out to the village gate and there by the town I'll be stoned.

I must form a lie--it needn't be sly--my people believe crazy things.

I'll say it's god's child, his son meek and mild. All hail the new king of kings!

That's your original poem? Quite witty!

Yeah, I just pulled it out of my ass. Probably not good enough for Tim Minchin, but not bad for pulling it out of my ass, I guess. :)

It sounds Tim Minchinny, I can imagine him singing/chanting it.

Hey Fundy, I read every word of your blog, I liked the poem; don't be discouraged, keep in mind the TYPE people you're dealing with in that chorus.  Why not stop going and find something else you would enjoy doing with people who appreciate you for who you are, NOT what you believe?  Join us in the Chat Room here, there are lots of nice people to chat with there.

I just read your blog and you are in the wrong crowd. Your humor is too precious to squander on a bunch of pinched assed delusionists.  I know, it isn't a word in the dictionary, but you get what I mean. 

Your cartoon is fall off the chair funny. 

I agree with Loren's suggestion, "talk to Tim Minchen!"

Joan, thanks for the great new phrase, "pinched assed delusionists", to add to my growing list of words about religionists.

AiF, I like your blog, and hope that you've be able to get out of Fundyland before too long.




Update Your Membership :




Nexus on Social Media:


© 2018   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service