Virtual Choir

Okay, I know this is really gorgeous, but it’s also somehow unsettling to me. Yes, the music is hauntingly beautiful. But I have to admit, the balls floating around with all those faces in the videos do wig me out a bit. All those heads bobbing around reminds me of the pictures hanging on the walls in Harry Potter, where the people in the paintings are alive.

It also drives home the fact that we are, have already, moved into a different world. It makes me think of a time in the future, when the earth is uninhabitable and we’re all floating on space ships or something. Perhaps Mommy’s watched too much Wall-E? I heard somewhere recently (was it Gayle King on XM radio?) that people today receive 300 times more information in a day, than they used to in an entire lifetime.


I love it. I love how we can connect with people all over the world, but it seems vitally important to deliberately make time to back away from the screen and connect with real people. And I know that sentiment isn’t anything new. We all say it. And I am a big offender of too much computer time.

It’s just, no matter how beautiful a “virtual” choir is, you can’t beat the real thing.

But then again, that kind of thinking is limited. It isn’t either/or, it’s AND and MORE.

In the ever evolving expansion of the Universe, there is room for it all.

We get to have both. We get to have everything.

And that is good.

Richard Franklin Morse


One evening on the Caribbean cruise, I met Richard. He’s a singer.

It was just before the karaoke show, (which I never would have participated in but enjoyed watching) and we discussed my public singing phobia. He used to have it too, and overcame it. He said you have to really want it. I said, I didn’t think I really wanted it. I said I didn’t have confidence what I had to offer, was really a gift to those who might be listening.  

He said many times, if you just do it, the talent will come later. He said, he thought it was interesting I was in two choirs but afraid to sing.

I said, never mind.   

He said, The Beatles weren’t initially all that talented, but became genius. 

Goaded by Diana Leigh(another singing sensation) Richard brought his guitar and entertained us as we waited to get into the Abraham seminar one morning. The two of them got everyone singing. It was fun. Diana says it is a shame we have so many hang-ups about singing. She says in other cultures, people don’t worry about it. They just sing. It isn’t judged. Of course that’s easy for her to say because she is an amazing singer.


The moral of the story is, just singing is enough. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I’ll keep telling myself that.  

Here are some videos of Richard singing. He’s got his own channel on You Tube. 

His music is so much fun! Enjoy!



Check out Richard’s website here!

“Oh Let Me Live in a Wholly Holy Way”

Last week was the first day in a new session of clay class after spring break. Riley had a hard time again. The start of anything new is a trigger for her. The clay was wet, and it stuck to her rolling pin. She didn’t want help, because she didn’t want to be treated “like a baby.”  She ran from the room, screaming.

Jingle was with us. Riley would pet her and start to calm down, only to escalate again over fear of “falling behind” due to being out in the hall, dealing with her strong feelings.  

It went around and around. 

Today at Girls on the Run (yes we’re in week eight of a new session) Riley had a hard time. In a lesson about body image, the girls drew outlines of each other on the blacktop with chalk, but her chalk didn’t show up because it was too dark. And she was uncomfortable because it was too hot, and the sun was too bright, and then she knelt in a wad of gum, and imagine the germs! She ran away from the group screaming several times. Then she became upset because she hadn’t done as many laps as everyone else, and you know the drill.

Around and around.

Both times, last week and today, when she was melting, I sat with my daughter, not close enough to hover, and let her be. I didn’t try to persuade her to go back.

She was baffled by my silence. In between her fretting and sobs she asked, 

“Mom are you mad at me?”

“No Dolly, I’m not,”  I assured her.   

Both times, last week and today, as she was going around and around with herself, a song was going around and around in my head like a mantra.  

It’s a Rickie Byars song we sing at church, led by our music director, Kathleen.  

Ricky Byars Beckwith, is the musician leading the Great Lakes Unity Music Conference next month here in Cleveland(see my blog roll to the right for info on that).  

Oh let me love in a wholly holy way.

Oh let me learn, from all the ways I fail.

Oh let me walk, each day a little kinder.

Oh let me walk, each day a little wiser.

Oh let me live in a wholly holy way.

Oh let me love in a wholly holy way.

Fill in the verb.

Walk, listen, love, live, soothe, speak,write,sing.

Let me do it in a wholly holy way.

Oh let me mother in a wholly holy way.

And I did.

I’m happy to report both times, last week and today,

I did.

God Doesn’t Give You More Than You Can Handle

Parents of kids with special needs get this line all the time. I personally don’t think God is some wise old dude in the sky, doling out disabilities based on parental strength. Often it seems people use this quote because they don’t know what to say or do, and they feel helpless. Or worse, it is a way of washing their hands of the situation. God did it. Who can argue?   

If you are ever thinking about letting that tired old line roll off your tongue, here is an alternative to try, which I guarantee will go over better…

“How ’bout I baby-sit for a couple of hours?” 

Even if the parents can’t let go of their white knuckle grip and let you, they’ll remember your kindness.                                                                             

Anyhoo. Windsong, Cleveland’s feminist chorus, is lucky enough to have a very talented composer in our midst, and our director Karen Weaver commissioned her to write a song specifically for the 30th anniversary of the group.  It is  a gorgeous ballad called I Have Learned(Not all roses are red).

These are some of the lyrics, in blue, written by Jan C. Snow: 

“I have learned, in my years, sometimes we are given more than we can bear.

The  trick is in knowing what to set down. 

-it’s as much about balance as strength.” 

And that’s just it, isn’t it? There are some things we just have to set down. I’ve had to set down any idea of a career for a while. My child has needed me home. I’ve set down worrying about what some relatives think of me. The burden was too heavy to carry. I’ve set down my old ideas about parenting, education, health care & medicine, forgiveness, friendship, marriage.

“The over and under and over and under of loss and love.”

So many times I’ve struggled against what is, wishing for things to be different. But while I’ve been home, I’ve had the most wonderful opportunity to delve into matters of the soul. While I must be available, I’m not needed every minute. This has given me time to read and write and look deep within myself at areas which needed to be healed, and are still healing. What once felt like a loss has actually been a gain.

And I know a wish on a star, might not make it so, but it raises our gaze to the sky.”

Life is different than I ever expected it would be,and it continues to change all the time.  

 “I have learned, not all roses are red. Not all violets are blue. “

It is rich, and it is blessed. And some days it does feel like more than I can bear.  Especially if I look out too far ahead.

And everyone has something. There is a dear sweet woman in the chorus whose husband recently became paralyzed in an accident. Maybe you are caring for aging parents. Perhaps you are going through a divorce. Perhaps you have health issues, or financial trouble, or abuse in your past. Maybe addiction weaves its way into your life. Maybe you are lonely. Our hearts are tender things. 

 “I have learned, not all roses are red. Not all violets are blue.”

“And yet, you see we bloom,

we bloom.”

Sometimes it seems like more than we can handle. 

It’s okay to set some things down. 

Be gentle with yourself.


Great Lakes Unity Music Conference

Unity Center in Cleveland Heights is hosting what is sure to be an inspiring music conference May 5,6,& 7. Ricky Byars Beckwith and Tim McAfee Lewis from the Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City, California will be leading the gathering. If you are interested in personal growth through music, come to Cleveland and partcipate!

There will be a concert at the end of the conference May 7th which will include particpants of the workshop. 

7PM. $25.00 at the door.

It’s going to be fantastic! Register quickly because space is limited.