Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!
Our text for this session was an excerpt from Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore, posted below.
For prompts, we had a choice between: “Write about being strung along the same wire of a song.” or “Write about being stuck deep in the brain and low in the spine.”
More details on this session will be posted, so check back!
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There was an April afternoon, when I was in the tenth grade when the Girls’ choir had to meet for its final rehearsal before the spring concert. The sun was pouring in through the gym windows, and when we took our places on the bleachers we were standing in it, like something celestial lowered in. Our director, Miss Field, began to wave her arms at us, and a strange spell came over our throats. Our nerves tightened and all the bones of our ears fell in line. It was Miss Field’s own arrangement of a Schubert rhapsody, and the notes, for once, took flight. I didn’t, couldn’t, catch Sils’s eye—she was standing over with the sopranos—but it didn’t matter, I didn’t have to, because this wasn’t personal, this singing, this light, this was girls, after weeks of rehearsal celebrating the ethereal work of their voices, the bell–like, birdlike, child–sound they could still make so strongly in unison. Strung along the same wire of song, we lost ourselves; out of separate rose and lavender mouths we formed a single living thing, like a hyacinth. It seemed even then a valedictory chorus to our childhood and struck us deep in the brain and low in the spine, like a call, and in its wave and swell lifted us, I swear, to the ceiling in astonishment and bliss, we sounded that beautiful. All of us could hear it, aloft in the bliss of it, no boys, no parents in the room, no one else to tell us, though we never managed to sound that beautiful again. In all my life as a woman—which began soon after, and not unrichly, I have never known such a moment. Though sometimes in my brain I go back to that afternoon, to relive it, sail up there again toward the acoustic panels, the basketball hoops, and the old oak clock, the careful harmonies set loose from our voices so pure and exact and light we wondered later, packing to leave, how high and fast and far they had gone.