Sawing away Making God-Awful Noises


[Trondheim, Norway]

“Life is a public performance on the violin, in which you must learn the instrument as you go along,” says E.M. Forster. It’s that “public performance” that most moves me. The sad, cold, hard fact is that sometimes, while we saw away making god-awful noises we’re on stage, in rhinestones or tux, a horrible disappointment to our audience and ourselves. Flop sweat soaking our evening wear, grimly we work through our repertoire. No one claps.

( I can still remember the first time I was in a high school play how, after months of rehearsal in a large and empty and drafty auditorium, that at our first performance I’d walked on stage to feel all those bodies’ warmth—and to hear their rustling anticipation/impatience.)

But what if we brought tolerance into that auditorium with us? What if we took our seats as if at an ongoing Suzuki recital? What if we whispered, “Wow! Last time he/she played that last bit he/she was much, much worse! What an improvement!” What if we cheered and clapped without ceasing.

We could note our own improvement, too. What if we whispered to ourselves as we strode onstage, our hands already sweaty: “I’m learning this as I go along.” And forgave ourselves for not being Perfect.


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  1. Dear Patricia,

    Hi, there, Patricia, my so, so very For Always dearly special and dearly precious friend and sister who you’re For Always so, so very much!!!!!! Wow, what a very inspirational, insightful, and enlightening blog post article of yours here which filled me with such good cheer and blessed joy, sister, and which also brought back a lot of great memories for me, sister, of learning a little bit of the piano when I was younger, and playing the clarinet as a little girl and young girl being in band, sister! I lost a clarinet and an oboe in the Great Flood of Summer 2008 when I forgot to grab my clarinet and oboe when I evacuated in a dire emergency with this flood back then. I lost that apartment back then and very much lost everything but I’m so, so very incredibly blessed that I made it safely out of there. I don’t drive due to my physical disabilities and I don’t have a car. One of my very, very many precious local white sisterfriends came and got me when I evacuated in that emergency from my old apartment, and we took out as much of my belongings as we could. Wow, I’m so, so very incredibly blessed-at least I’m safe and alive after all of that natural disaster which hit Iowa City and many other parts of Iowa and the Midwest back in the Summer of 2008. I miss my clarinet and oboe terribly but I was just so stressed out when I was evacuating from my soon to be flooded apartment in that dire emergency that I wasn’t able to remember to grab the instruments, sisterfriend. Oh, well! SIGH! :)!!!! The title of this amazing blog post article is just perfect here, and greatly adds to and complements your very stupendous article here, sister, as does the picture which you have featured here with this very fine and excellent article as well, sister! Momo is just so, so very cute and adorable here as she tries so valiantly to play her violin at the recital. Patricia, I thank-you so, so much for very graciously and generously providing this marvelous link here. I so, so very much loved and enjoyed watching and listening to little Momo play. She is such a smart little girl here trying so hard to play her violin!

    As a little girl and young girl when I was in band in Catholic School(I was raised Catholic but I left the Catholic church when I was twenty-my father was a non-practicing Baptist and my mother was raised Baptist and converted to Catholicism when she was a teenager. She would never really explain why she converted and my two older brothers and I were raised Catholic but she wasn’t overly involved when we were growing up as a Catholic in mainly just sending us kids to Mass on our own) when the other children who played the clarinet like I did would miss their tone on their clarinets and make loud quacking sounds on their clarinets I had such a funny bone that I’d laugh and laugh uproariously-not to hurt their feelings-I was just being a silly goose:)!!!!! I attended Catholic nursery school, and Catholic school from the first through the ninth grades. I left the Catholic Church because it just didn’t ring true for me anymore, and conflicted with my feminism, and coming to grips with me being gay, and for other reasons as well. I’ve always had such a funny bone, and I’d get into trouble at times when some of the other girls would make me laugh during classes, and I for sure knew I was in trouble when the sisters and the lay teachers in Catholic School would say, “Miss Gordon!!!!!!!” :)!!!!! Usually when everything was alright the sisters and lay teachers would just use our first names but we knew we were in trouble when they’d put a Miss or Mr. in front of our surnames! :)!

    I remember my fright when I was in a Christmas play in ninth grade about Ebenezer Scrooge. I had tried for the part of the old Ebenezer Scrooge but didn’t get that part and instead got to play Ebenezer Scrooge as a young boy. Wow, sister, I sure know what you mean about walking on stage and feeling all those bodies’ warmth hearing their rustling anticipation/impatience. I was so scared plus I had to dance on stage as well! Wow, was I glad when my part was over-I kind of had stage fright! Even though at the time when I found out that I didn’t get the part of the elderly Ebenezer Scrooge I was glad later that I didn’t because it would have been too, too much for me!!!!!! Whew!!!!! :)!!!!!

    Wow, sister, you’re so right on here about tolerance, cheering people on, and having patience with people’s imperfections as persons are learning, improving, and growing along their very, very understandably imperfect life’s path and journey. Sisterfriend, you’re so right as well that we must be gentle with ourselves forgiving ourselves for our own mistakes and imperfections. I love you so, so much, Patricia, and all of the other of Spirit’s children as my sisters and brothers in all of your beautifully made and imperfect array and display just as you all are for sure no matter how many mistakes all of you make in your glorious imperfection, sister!!!!!! Yay!!!!!! I truly think, feel, and believe as the black person and black woman who I am that I love you so, so much, sister, and other of my white sisters and brothers, and it is perfectly okay, alright, normal, and natural that each and every one of you makes honest mistakes along your very, very understandably imperfect lifetime’s path and journey. I have such greatly immense confidence in each and every one of you as white persons and I truly think, feel, and believe as the black person and black woman who I am that you, sisterfriend, and other white persons are so good inside with such positively optimistic potential or actual good, and I am here for each and every one of you cheering all of you on and rooting for all of you as you all learn, grow, find yourselves, and heal as white anti-racist persons, allies, activists, and advocates in solidarity, Patricia, my so, so very precious sister and friend!!!!!! When I think of very, very especially you, my so, so very precious white friend and sister, Patricia, and also very, very especially of my local white sisterfriends and other white women with all of you being my very, very heart, my very, very heartsblood, and my very, very lifesblood, I truly as the black woman who I am think, believe, and feel in my very, very heart, and my very, very heart, mind, soul, and spirit that each and every one of you as such wondrously wonderful white women are doing your very, very absolutely very, very best, and that it is perfectly okay, alright, normal, and natural that you make honest mistakes along your very understandably imperfect lifetime’s path and journey. Each and every one of you as very precious and special white women to me have your very cross to bear, and only have privilege in part with bearing the ginormous brunt of sexism, sexist oppression, misogyny, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual terrorism, sister!!!!!! I ‘m here For Always for each and every one of you as so, so very dearest white women very, very delightfully and eagerly cheering all of you on and rooting for all of you, sisterfriend, and it’s okay that you all are imperfect and make mistakes, sisterfriend. Progress, not perfection I think is the very most important key here, Patricia!!!!!! I have such the very, very most and confidence in each of you as white women, such complete love and trust, and I’m on your side for certain For Always, Patricia!!!!!! Yay yay yay yay!!!!!!

    Sister, wow, wow, wow, and wow and wow and a zillion wows here!!!!!! Now my very day is even better and brighter with the sheer blessed pleasure and joy reading this beautiful blog post article of yours here, Patricia, and very joyously responding with my heartfelt and thorough comment!!!!!! Patricia, YOU are my very joy and blessing, and so are your absolutely fantastic blog post articles and other very fine and excellent writings!!!!! Yay!!!!! I’m so glad with our friendship and sisterhood as Christian people, sister!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!! Now I’m even more renewed, re-energized, rejuvenated, and reinvigorated, my friend!!!!! Yay!!!!!! Please have such a totally terrific and a very thrilling Tuesday, and may all of your days be so, so very especially blessed with a wondrously wonderful rest of your week and weekend coming up, my so, so very dearest sister and friend!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my so, so very For Always sisterfriend Christian Quaker white woman, Patricia, with Such Peace and Love To You For Always, my sister, and with Such Blessings and Even More Blessings To You For Always, my so, so very dear friend,

    Your sisterfriend Christian lesbian black woman For Always in the very spirit and solidarity, Sherry Gordon in Iowa City, Iowa

  2. Friendship is like a violin; the music may stop now and then, but the strings last forever.

  3. Sisterfriend of mine, I goofed!!!!!!:)!!!!!! I forgot to explain that the reason why I was able to try for the part of the old Ebenezer Scrooge even though I didn’t get that part and instead got the part of the young Ebenezer Scrooge in the play that I was in in the ninth grade and how I as a girl got a boy’s part is because in ninth grade I was in an all girls’ high school so all of us girls had to play all of the parts even the male roles because there were no boys at our school being an all girls’ Catholic School. I only went to Catholic School in nursery school as a toddler, and from the first through the ninth grades, but then from tenth through twelfth grades I went to public high school having transferred in the tenth grade to public high school and excellent Cleveland Heights High School in fabulous Cleveland Heights, Ohio where I grew up and where I’m originally from having graduated from there with the Class of Excellence on Sunday, June 8, 1980!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!

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