It's not in the least bit likely that I could be found in a Methodist church early on a Sunday morning. In fact, it's happened exactly once and it was today. I accepted an invitation from one of the Kateri Park volunteers to attend a service where her choir would be providing the music. Svila is a women's choir which performs Balkan songs. A few years ago I worked with another member of the choir and always lamented the fact that I was never able to attend a performance due to my work schedule so I jumped at this invitation, even if it meant going to church which, I confess, always freaks me out just a bit. I'm always afraid I'm going to blurt out some Hebrew or something. I am familiar with this particular church's basement from years of playgroup but I'd never really been upstairs. This is a very open and progressive church and I don't know what I was worried about--we were warmly welcomed.
And the singing! Absolutely breathtaking. Anyone familiar with albums like Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares will know this style of singing, full of rich, complex harmonies,haunting tunes, and joyous bleats as punctuation. This was my first experience with a live performance and it literally brought tears to my eyes as the six women filled the sanctuary with their spectacular voices. I can't wait to hear Svila again.
The pastors of the congregation reminded us more than once of the big peace rally planned for today, the 4th anniversary of the Iraq disaster. I knew this was coming up but I had forgotten and made plans to take two of my students out to Fabric Depot this afternoon. So The Spouse headed out with both boys who made their usual grumbly noises upon leaving the house but had plenty to report once they arrived back home. I wish I could have joined them as I am as furious as anyone about the war, but I had to honor my promise to take these young women out. And we had a lovely time gushing over silks and petting the yarn together. While part of my family was marching against the war, I figure I was doing my bit for improved Jewish-Muslim relations. The photo from today's rally was taken by The Dark Lord, whose account of the event can be found here.