Debated about going.
Then got the incentive I needed when I realized we’d set our clocks back sailing from Holland to Scotland, so got up early the next morning and made my way to Deck 9 and the Crow’s Nest.
So far, the Crow’s Nest’s been the home of the late night dancers or a jazz group called The Swingin’ Swedes. Sunday at 8a.m. it began filling up with a lot of Lutherans and other folks who liked to sing. Staff distributed hymnals, (imagine that!) and a booklet containing a mix of songs from Prairie Home Companion. After we’d been grouped into sopranos, altos,tenors and basses, our choir director, Vern Sutton, announced requests would follow the singing of the first hymn, Holy, Holy, Holy.
Listening to unaccompanied four part harmony sung by saints dressed as tourists sent shivers up my Baptist preacher’s kid’s spine. The mix that followed seemed strangely sacred, from Children of the Heavenly Father to a mostly white and privileged group of men and women singing We Shall Overcome.
As I looked around, I thought, “What’s the story embedded in this make-shift choir…something to help make sense of the world…one story at a time?” Then, I saw her, scalp swathed in a scarf, trademark of many women dealing with cancer and its treatments. She turned towards me, flashed a winning smile, then began singing like there’s no tomorrow.
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