Monday, August 22, 2005

It's all about...

We started teacher orientation today. It was a lovely day. I was actually dreading going back, but Jack reminded me that I feel that way at the end of every summer, and, once it is time to return, I'm perfectly happy and content. (See me again about this next June when the cumulative effect of a year of teaching has set in!) We did a weekday morning service with all of the staff. The Rabbi explained the history of each prayer and the rationale for its place in the service before we recited each one. I decided to close the Amidah with a minimalistic and repetitive trance-inducing piece. The melody line dips and soars over the simple ostinato pattern of two arpeggiated chords, and is one a singer can really sink her teeth into. I always hesitate to do this piece, because it could be perceived as a way for the Cantor to show off her chops -- a real show-stopper. You know. And services are not about self-aggrandizement. (Tell that to your local Cantor!) But, this piece is so hypnotic, and I go to such a deep place when I deliver it, that I'm never sorry in the end when I elect to do it. People are willing to go on these journeys with me, and the group experience of the spiritul is palpable. So... a good day.

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