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Connections: April 18 2014

April 18, 2014

A Quiet Alleluia

In this unusual year, when spring has been caught amidst cloudy and cold days, with occasional snow, and occasional sun, for so long… I’m reminded of one of my favorite Easter anthems. Some Easter anthems are filled with trumpets, and tympani, and grand organ music, with eight-part harmony, a joyous, full, exuberant sound. And I like those anthems. But the one I’m remembering now is not like that. It begins, instead, with hushed voices, haunting, almost cold, and empty, leading to a sparse chord—only two notes, the bare minimum for a chord. The sound is lonely, bereft.

And out of that cold, sparse chord, comes a quiet “Alleluia,” soft, low-pitched, but moving forward, and gaining confidence. It’s like the first brave crocus, or daffodil, daring to bloom in the midst of cold and gray and wind. It’s a note of courage, of determination, and all the more beautiful because it appears with no fanfare, it’s just…there. Other voices join, other flowers bloom. But it starts with a quiet “Alleluia.”

Many of life’s wonderful moments are accompanied by trumpets, and brilliance, and grand-ness. And many of life’s wonderful moments, whether in learning, or in the change of seasons, or in human relationships, or within our spirits, begin with a quiet Alleluia. This spring, I’m grateful for the single daffodil, the solitary morning song bird, the quiet Alleluia.

A Kerfufflea: Yes I said it.

Yes, I saw that word today, as I was reading one of the online reports I receive. It was in a story about “big data,” but I have to admit I was more taken by the word than its context. I really like that word, kerfuffle. Its sound conveys its meaning—commotion, agitation, disorder. It has kind of a tempest-in-a-teapot meaning, implying a short-lived but intense fuss.

When I saw this word today, I thought of an observation I made when I was watching college women’s basketball games this year. I noticed that some women wore t-shirts under their uniform shirts, some with short sleeves and some with long sleeves. Some women wore something that looked like a high-cut sleeveless shirt under their uniform shirt. And some women wore the shirt itself, with no shirt underneath it. (Trust me, I’m getting to kerfuffle.)

All of that reminded me of a conversation I had with high school principals in the late 1980s, when I had just started my administrative career in LPS. That was still in the early years of women’s sports in Nebraska high schools, and the question before the group was a request by some of the women basketball players to wear a t-shirt under their sleeveless uniforms. The principals spent a fair amount of time on the question, trying to decide if a deviation from “the uniform” should be allowed, if every woman should wear a t-shirt if one did, to preserve the uniform look, and if permission were granted for this, would other requests surely follow. I allowed as how I (the only woman in the conversation) would certainly be much more comfortable with a t-shirt, given the fairly loose cut of the neckline and arm holes of the uniform shirt.

I must say I don’t recall the outcome of the conversation. All I know is that when I watched the variation of “what to wear under the uniform shirt” of college players this winter, I was pretty sure that what we had spent our time on so seriously some 25+ years ago would today be characterized as a “kerfuffle.”

Which makes me wonder what other issues I’m presently giving great attention will at some time in the future be “just a kerfuffle.” I don’t know, so I’ll continue that serious attention, because they’re important now. But it’s a good reminder that time does bring perspective….

To think about...

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” - Mary Anne Radmacher                                         

Marilyn Moore, EdD
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