Fluttering wings and beautiful voices

Dear Friends,
High school choir is a frontier I have only stumbled on recently. As a late registrant into the local high school, Kat had limited options for electives. She ended up in choir due to availability rather than desire. But as sometimes happens with these things, she has excelled and found enjoyment in something she didn't know she would even survive.

We went to watch her concert last week and I must admit to sitting in stunned wonderment throughout the entire evening. 

Tboy's expression above is a smaller, and, dare I say it, cuter, imitation of my own. In a class that is open to any participant, regardless of skill or lack thereof one might expect a certain level of mediocrity. This was not the case. Either by the luck of an overwhelming amount of lovely voices or by an amazing ability to maximize potential by the teacher, I don't know, but it all came together and the result was gorgeous.

The freshman girls sang as a small group and I was struck as I watched them. Their colorful dresses. Their young faces.

It is easy to imagine them at school, darting from class to class, negotiating the struggles of high school. One can assume they are a mixed lot, different personalities, different backgrounds. But this was not a night about differences. This was a night about harmony.

What a happy day when we can concentrate on harmony, forget differences. I can only think how much more smoothly high school would go for kids if this were the case in the hallways and lunchrooms of the world. 

What if we could form a delightful chorus instead of a ragged line of criticism?


My musings on the social labyrinth of high school lead me to write this rather clumsy, entirely imagined (I never went to public high school, after all), lyrical essay.

Who says the butterfly must excel beyond the moth?
The first  is social, beautiful, fluttery, radiant.
The other is like her, related but apart.
Paler, grayer, wobbly.
Distant sisters, both flying.

Girls flock to butterflies, together, colorful wings beating.

Dresses fresh and headlining.
Dancing from flower to flower, circle to circle.
Grace in her movements, smoothness in her handling.

Skipping over peer pressures like so many pollen puffs.

Ignoring puddles of the mundane, attracting the excitable.
Each wing flash drawing admiration, adoration easily following.
Words falling like nectar to her listeners, she dances on their fingertips.

The moth sister, watching, waiting, wishing.

Nearby but not integral, circling but not inside.
Mousy, vintage, yarn-bombed
Where golden, Mary-Jane, silk-wrapping is OK.

Drawn to the light of friends and love.

Awkward and ungainly, this quiet sister.
Careening into the comfort zone of the popular.
Sprinkling passers with the dust of insecurity that clouds her grayish wings.

But is she more or less than a butterfly?

Is her nature a sign of something missing? Something wrong?
Friend, I say not, night comes, the time for moths.
A time when she can find her path without the blaring of the sun and it's dancers.

A time when her wings will open wide to the truth in her heart.

When she will see the beauty in her time on Earth.
Then she will soar, atop the breeze.
Toward the moon, the lantern of the night.

Gone is the call to be noticed, singled out.

Gone the artificial light of popularity, place and power.
Gone is the time for me to be better than you.
Gone is the idea of brighter color or better shape.

Here is the time to be.

To find peace.
To fly.

Now is the time to sing.

--Raimie Harrison 2012

 I dedicate this to my sister who has chosen to thrive in a foreign place that neither of her older sisters has ever navigated. I am in awe of her, the dear-heart, for she is neither butterfly nor moth. She has assimilated parts of the two, creating a whole new genre and bridging the gap. The sum of the parts cannot speak completely to the magnitude of the whole so I won't attempt to sum her up.

Suffice to say she is beauty in motion with a strong clear voice of sincerity, a spirit of truth and more than a few loads of stinky gym clothes.

{Love you, Kat!}

Singing along in NE

P.S. Swing choir... Wow! Kat is not in this part of Choir but seriously.... Wow! Are you familiar with this art form? 

Blows me away.
The end.


  1. This made me cry. You girls are blessed
    (and I do NOT use that word lightly!) to have each other. From someone who does not have a sister I hope you value the bond there that is like no other. Something tells me you do. ;)

    1. Sappy, I know, but love that girl and so happy to see her doing well in her place! :)

    2. Sappy, I know, but love that girl and so happy to see her doing well in her place! :)

  2. From a mom whose children have lots of siblings, one of the things I enjoy most is watching their interaction with each other and the bond that is there. Therefore I also can really appreciate your post(s) also. It is fun to hear of her excelling in her place, and I do think it speaks very well of her past HS'ing years also.
    The swing choir was always one of my top favorites to listen to/watch! I can still remember the group in my Jr. High years!

  3. Really really nice post! Perfectly lovely prose!

  4. Just watched my younger boys in their first Christmas choir. Definitely not their choice (especially the matching sweater vests!)but I insisted. They were so adorable and like your daughter, shined once they were up there and enjoyed every minute. Here's to expanding horizons!!! Stevie@ruffledfeathersandspilledmilk.com


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