Sunday, February 14, 2016

Everything glorious.

This afternoon I've been revelling in my first free day in a long time. When my evening plans fell through, I moved to the piano to play around, something that happens only occasionally these days. A rare afternoon off, a rare chance to play the piano just for the joy of it, and the rare opportunity to pull out a book of songs I probably haven't touched for two years. It felt like no accident then that today, Valentine's Day, I flipped the music book open to Everything Glorious, a song by David Crowder.

'The day is brighter here with you,' the lyrics begin, 'The night is lighter than its hue would lead me to believe, which leads me to believe that you make everything glorious.'

As a single thirty-something whose experience falls somewhere and everywhere between slightly crazy Austenesque old maid and the werkin'-it-Beyonce-style single lady, being a party of one in a world of pairs often feels less than glorious. When I started writing this post, I kind of got lost recounting the ungloriousness of extended singleness. It's a list that runs the gamut from petty, first-world annoyances -- never getting to take a plus one to a party, for example, or having to deal with car stuff on your own, or wishing food processors weren't only gifts for brides -- to the loneliness of being in a situation that 95% of your peers have not experienced, and then to the very real grief that comes when you realise the narrative you've always imagined for your future -- maybe one including children -- needs to be completely rewritten.

But none of us needs another list of why extended singleness can sometimes stink. We can come up with our own lists at the drop of a hat, and recounting these griefs leads nowhere (except, possibly, to the freezer for a tub of icecream).

What we do need are songs that remind us that glory is coming -- and not the beautiful but limited vision of glory that is romance and a white gown and to have and to hold. I mean a glory that takes a broken narrative and turns it into something wonderful, a message that now is not all there is, a promise that takes our ashes and gives us beauty.

Weeping may endure for a night, but the night is lighter than its hue would lead us to believe, and joy comes in the morning. Because someone is at work making everything glorious.
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