Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical
hermionesviolin

Handel's Messiah // UCN church fair

Fri. Nov. 30, my mom and I went to Handel's Messiah.

I waited for her at the Starbucks near Symphony Hall -- ordered a tall peppermint hot chocolate, finally beginning to use the $10 giftcard I got from a couple at First Churches for my college graduation 2.5 years ago.

We had dinner at, I think it was called Pho & I.  After my hot chocolate, I felt really full (my stomach'd been weird like all week), so I just got a coconut juice and a Saigon Salad sans meat, which I merely picked at.

I'd ordered [online!] first balcony, center.  When my tickets came, "PLEASE NOTE: The seating you requested was not available at the time you placed your order.  We have given you the best available seats in substitution."  BALC2CTR

I was in second balcony last year and it felt really high up, but I was on the side near the edge overlooking everything, and the center has more rows and we weren't quite so close to the front, so I didn't feel like I was close to falling off.

I wasn't particularly into the concert at first (though I was very impressed with myself that, despite the not-enough sleep I'd gotten all week, I easily stayed awake through the whole concert -- and I was particularly struck by the Alto, and the conductor was great).  However, at this part, I fell in love with the Reason for the Season.

Chorus
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called: Wonderful Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace!
(Isaiah IX, 6)

I wasn't really into the suffering Christ parts, sacrificial atonement and all.

From Program Notes:
Handel's other oratorios are all dramatic re-tellings of Biblical events.  Messiah is something very different.  The libretto is entirely made of Biblical quotations that comment on the events at hand, instead of enacting them.  This was an elegant way around the chief eighteenth-century objection for sacred oratorios, for Jesus himself never actually sings.

The idea of putting the central story of Christianity on the concert stage was a novel and potentially shocking idea.  Putting the story entirely in the form of quotations from both the Old and New Testament avoided making the Passion story into an unstaged opera.  But this also opened the way for a far greater breadth of symbolic reference.

Charles Jennens used a passage from St. Paul to sum up his musical sermon: "God was manifested in the Flesh, justify'd by the Spirit, seen of Angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the World, received up in Glory."  All this is more than a simple retelling of the life of Christ.  Jennens' web of quotations draws our attention away from the actual events and towards the theological implications of Jesus's story.  In Part II, for example, the tremendously dramatic story of Christ's crucifixion is conveyed entirely through the language of the Old Testament, since these are the prophecies that the Crucifixion is seen to fulfill.  And Part III has no plot at all; it is actually a version of the Anglican burial service, emphasizing the resurrection of the body and Christ's victory over sin.
***

I went back to Norwood with my mom afterward 'cause the UCN Fair was the next day.

The fair's 9-3, and my mom said if I got there around 10 that'd be fine.

I helped at the book table, per usual.

There was a far greater number of books than usual, so much so that it wasn't until around lunchtime that you could actually read the titles of all the books.  Carol kept handing me books, suggesting I might be interested in purchasing them.  At one point I asked her why she kept trying to push romance novels on me.  She hadn't realized they were romance novels ("Wicked" had a white cover with a dove on the front, "Rebel" had a white cover with a hummingbird? on the front), but I proved I was right by flipping them over to find bodice-ripper scenes (they were hardcovers).  I was amused, because I didn't recognize the author names at all, just somehow knew they were romance novels, because what else would they be.  Carol said she was a bad influence.  I said I'm so far gone... said it's a church book fair so doesn't have real bad influence books, just medium bad influence books like romance novels.  I looked really virtuous, though, because I got 3 Christianity books:
+ Mysteries of the Bible: The Unanswered Questions of the Scriptures, by Reader's Digest Association)
+ The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality, ed. Gordon S. Wakefield
+ The Lenten Labyrinth: Daily Reflections for the Journey of Lent (Daily Reflections for the Journey of Lent), by Edward M. Hays

Bev was running the fair for the I-don't-know-what-th year in a row, and her good friend Ginny H. whom she lives with (in a gen way, I swear!) has been in and out of the hospital since like October, so she was kinda stressed.  I was massaging her back, and she said she was gonna move in with me.

The fair was 9-3, so I'd thought I might swing by the library before getting the 5:05 train home, but I helped box up all the leftovers, and then I picked up a little kid to keep him from going down the stairs to outside (guys were coming by carrying a table, otherwise I would have just blocked the stairs until the kid's mom came and got him), and he put his arms around me.  I had never seen him before.  His name is David, and he'll be 2 in January.  I'm not much of a kid person, but I was happy to just hold this sweet kid, kinda rocking him.  Every once in a while he would wanna get down, and I'd follow him somewhere, and he'd walk around a bit, and then I'd pick him, and he'd hang out for a while.  At one point I tried singing to him a little bit (softly, since his ears were so close to my mouth) and yeah, I so can't sing.

When I was first holding him, his grandfather David said I was practicing for when I got older.  I said I didn't actually want to have kids, so I was practicing to be an aunt, but I was okay with that.

I saw Mike F. later, and he said he wished he were smaller, so I could hold him like that.  (He'd been working outside all day.)  I told him about my conversation with the kid's grandfather, and he said I'd change my mind when prince Charming came along, that I'd want to reproduce him.  I consciously decided not to Come Out as bi, and just responded to the other part, saying that it's a lot of work and you never get an exact replica or even a combination of the best parts of you and your partner, that if you do a really good job you hope to get a good unique person whom you are glad to have in your life.

My parents left at a time when if I went with them I would make the 5:05 train, so I did.
Tags: books, church: norwood: ucn: church fair, food, food: boston area, music: concerts, music: handel's messiah
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