Well, this is the first time that I’ve taken pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) for this type of expression in a while. It also marks nearly a month since I flew home after being abroad for nearly two months. This summer was the UD Chorale World Tour 2017 We Can Mend the Sky. And we did just that. It was hard to keep up with my writing while so distracted by not only the music, but friends, adventures, nights out, days rehearsing, performances, shwarma pizza, lavender fields, and taking in each and every experience possible in that short time.
Now I did say that the tour was called We Can Mend the Sky. Sounds cheesy, right. Especially since it was the name of a song that we had been singing all year, a song that this group of people (that I honestly could never replace) knew inside and out and internalized well before this experience, or so I thought. But, I can truly say that I didn’t really know the weight of the song until one of our performances in Israel. And with each performance after, there was more meaning attached to the text and melody alike. Without conversations with both strangers and those that I thought I knew, eye opening experiences to cultures other than my own, and even the simple interactions that transpired, I would never have truly understood the song’s power. I mean it was capable of bringing nearly all of us to tears after we had sung it one hundred over – that has to mean something, right?
…mending the sky…
Personally, I remember sitting around in our hostel in Israel while so many people were gushing about how life changing everything was so far after being abroad for only a week and thinking to myself,
“How am I supposed to ‘mend the sky’ if I can’t even mend myself?”
I sit around trying to promote positivity and healthy self-talk and self-love, but the truth is, I’m just as cracked as anyone else. I was doubting my abilities to help anyone or be a liaison to the world around me as I was told I was because I couldn’t even fix my imperfections or the things that I have so much anxiety about in my own life. I couldn’t make myself happy at the snap of my fingers. I couldn’t isolate what was making me upset. I couldn’t understand why the past year had been so taxing for me, so hard to talk to anyone about – even those closest. How in God’s name was I going to mend the sky? Fix the problems? Make any form of a difference – even the smallest difference – on strangers or people i knew?
…mending the sky…
In the world as a whole and on a personal level, it sounds like a crazy task. Sounds like something only the exceptional can do. Sounds like something that I definitely am not capable of.
The secret though, is that it really isn’t that crazy. Mending the entire sky, yeah, that’s going to take a lot of work. A lot of people. A lot of kindness. A lot of love. But when people come together to do something that they love, create something beautiful, talk to strangers, experience the world, display happiness – it doesn’t seem so hard. The positivity and impact are almost…simple.
I’m not going to sit here and say that the two months away were easy by any means. I can’t do that truthfully. Tour was overwhelming in both positive and challenging ways as was just being abroad in general. There were times when I wanted to just sit down at home with my family for an early dinner at 5 pm followed by a Rita’s run with my sister or wake up in the morning to find a note from my mom saying that she went to a tennis drill and would be home in an hour or come downstairs at night to see my dad sitting on the couch watching Antiques Roadshow or American Pickers. There were times when I struggled to learn music, felt that my efforts weren’t really helping anything, prayed that I wasn’t being too irritating to my friends – looking back pretty typical stuff. And at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have traded this experience or any aspect of it for anything else. I grew to know the people that I had been singing with and sitting in classes with and saying hi to for the past year so much better. I felt comfortable talking to anyone in the room around me. I learned so much about myself and can recognize the ways that I have changed. I can see how positivity from others influenced me and impacted me so strongly. I understand how each person has an impact in the world around them and how each action has a reaction. And how we all have a purpose. It sounds cheesy, I know, but it’s the truth.
To be honest, I’m not 100% sure where this is going nor was I when I started writing. I know I’m going to question where my train of thought was when I was writing this and why my thoughts were so scattered from one thing to the next. But I do know that these are all things that need to be said.
Because the thing is ‘if we come together, we can mend a crack in the sky’.
I’m glad you’re alive.