Thursday, April 19, 2007

Abou ben Adhem...

was the title I had to act out for Charades this past week at the ministers' retreat, and since no one but me on my team had ever heard of this legendary poem by James Leigh Hunt, I ended up eking it out syllable by syllable, an agonizing task producing much hilarity among the opposing team members, most of whom had never heard of it either until that night. But good old Kinky Boots (my team's name) finally got it within the two-minute time limit. I was proud.

Laurel Hallman of First Dallas was our presenter and I enjoyed her "Living by Heart" workshop presentation, though it was a tad pedantic and I got sleepy toward the end, but Laurel herself is a terrific person and I was glad to get to know her. We have people in common in Dallas; my former brother-in-law Ev Gilmore, who died about 18 months ago, and his wife Mary were/are longtime members of First Dallas and she officiated at his memorial service. So we swapped memories of Ev, who was the principal tubaist for the Dallas Symphony for many years.

My best story was the time when at a family gathering, Ev on tuba and friend Rob on banjo performed the duet from "Deliverance", with Rob speeding up the banjo part at the appropriate times and Ev keeping up on tuba. It was the funniest thing I ever saw; if we'd had a video camera, we could have sent it in to America's Funniest home videos and won a bundle.

Her best story was how at the memorial service, the chancel at First Dallas was filled with tubaists, all of whom had come to play and pay respects to Ev, who was such a leader in the musical community. She had to sit in a pew, the chancel was so full. I loved hearing the story; I couldn't attend the memorial service and it filled a hole in my heart to make this connection.

It's good to be home from the retreat and start getting enough sleep again. My back pain was mysteriously gone on Monday morning, though I was prepared to battle it all week. The homily was well-received yesterday morning but I think what people enjoyed most was singing "Ubi Caritas" at the end of a retreat full of reconnections and worship.


juffie said...

Poor old Abu Ben Adhem - forgotten so soon -- so much for having your name written in the book of life for all eternity!

ms. kitty said...

Yeah, it doesn't do much good if nobody reads the darned book!