“ Yet each man kills the thing he loves” Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Goal.
I used this quotation yesterday writing a seminar on ‘Closer’ (Fabulous play, do read it) and while I take any excuse to quote Wilde, that quotation seemed apt yesterday evening.
I sing in a choir, or rather I sang in a choir. A marvellous choir I found quite by chance and that has become a big part of my life. As of last night that choir is no more, and while another choir will take it’s place-literally next week for some and I hope eventually in life for everyone else. But what we had has gone and that is so sad.
I use that quote because I think that is what happened to our choir. People cared deeply for the choir and in trying so very hard to protect it to maintain it and with the best of intentions it got destroyed. Sitting there last night with members who had been there since the beginning, members like me who’d been there a while and new members who’d been there only weeks in some cases, it was clear everybody cared. Nobody sets out to destroy the things they love but sometimes we do, even when, or because we are trying so hard to protect them.
I wanted to take time here to try and say how much Serenity has meant to me. It’s important to me to say this because in all of the goings on in the last few months I’ve tried to remain neutral to stay out of the politics. But I don’t want it to look like I didn’t care. I do, the tears last night and the ones that threaten to embarrass me in the office as I type this are testament to that (don’t worry they’re used to me embarrassing myself).
What can I say about being in the choir? After studying drama I’d ironically but not sadly unusually been left with quite bad stage fright, I hadn’t done anything that could be classed as a public performance in two years. But I did get back up with Serenity and I even performed a solo here and there (including one memorable performance dressed as a Nun).
It gave me back confidence several professional kicks in the teeth had eroded. More importantly it gave me back fun. Moving back home after you’ve been away is hard, and having just one place you can escape to is important. There will be other places but for now it’s been Serenity and losing that will be hard.
It wasn’t just being in the choir either its what people took from it when they saw us-my yoga teacher whose class I gave up (after 3 years!) to join Serenity said to me after our last concert ‘I see why your Monday nights are so important’ he got it, he understood why we did it. Another friend came through the snow to our coffee morning concert in 2010 just 2 days before giving birth to her baby, a year later she came to the same concert with her son who loved every minute. We were his first concert before he was born and after-and that is so special to me.
This was just a short period in all our lives, longer for some than others but no less meaningful. Hopefully in the future none of us will remember last night-we’ll remember the good times, whether it was the packed out concerts and standing ovations, the crazy tours or just the silly rehearsals where you couldn’t stop giggling for no particular reason. There was a lot of talk about what Serenity was and what it meant, and actually it meant different things to all of us, but what I think we all agree on is that we loved it. Let’s remember that instead.
Thank you Serenity and all who made it what it was.