Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thrust in Your Sickle (SAB)

I love the imagery of the scriptures. I love that the Lord has taken abstract principles and related them to every day things we can smell and touch and hold. These metaphors often deal with the routine rhythms of our days--snow as purity, blood as life, chains as ignorance.

And the harvest. Autumn is one of my favorite times of year. There is in the air a feeling of change. A last chance to gather in all of the summer's good intentions and hunker down for the coming blast of winter. It makes sense that the harvest would be associated with missionary work--gathering in the children of God so they are not forgotten.

I decided to one day pull together all of the promises, admonitions, encouragement, and warnings associated with the harvest addressing the need to bring souls unto salvation. There are quite a few. It took me awhile but I synthesized as many as I could into the text of this song:

We know not when the summer shall be past;
When the summer has an end, will your harvest be made fast?
Or will you return with empty hands?

I love the music Diane created for the song. It evokes determination, anticipation, and yet melancholy at the final work before us as we labor in the waning light and prepare for the return of the Lord.

My Garden

This song is very dear to Diane and me. It is one of the first songs we wrote together so many years ago. It is, in fact, my husband's favorite of our songs.

The text uses the metaphor of the garden as the heart or soul of a person--the place where our desires and intentions reside. The song is very personal to me; it is the story of how when I neglect my spirituality, it isn't long before my beautiful garden becomes overgrown, full of weeds, and not a very nice place to be. At those times I need of hand of the gardener, or the Savior, to restore my garden to a place of beauty. When peace and order are restored, then I find the presence of the Holy Dove--representing the Spirit of God--abides also there. The lovely flute trill is intended to represent birdsong.

This song was written to be sun by Anna Bjarnson Carson--who is an amazing, operatic soprano. It is difficult vocally and has a difficult flute score. But it is so very well worth the trouble to find the musicians capable of doing it justice.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

And Joy Be Mine Abode

A few months ago, our dear friend and Stake Relief Society President, Candance Melville, asked me and Diane to write a song for the Stake Women's Conference that was held in June. We gladly agreed to, know ing that Chieko Okasaki would be the keynote speaker, and because either of us would pretty much do anything that Candie asked us to do!

Then chaos erupted. I broke my arm and Diane and her husband's work situations became pretty crazy. Now you would think that since the arm is fairly distant to the brain, I'd still be able to accomplish something, even by typing with just one hand. But no. I gazed at the screen for hours, mostly just trying to remember what my last thought was.

But we did it. We managed to get it done in time, thanks to Diane's patience and flexibility.

And my arm is doing much better.

"And Joy Be Mine Abode"--The chorus was inspired by Lamoni's father's statement--"I would give away all my sins to know God." But I believe giving away the sins is only half the battle--like the clutter in my garage that I keep thinking I gave away, sins have away of hiding and clinging and transmorgifying themselves to appear harmless. Before I can give away my sins I have to find them under the layers of guilt and pride and fear.

I learned a lot writing the words to this song, and hope they will also aid you in coming closer to the Lord and learning to become like Him.