Thursday, February 22, 2007

Amazing Grace

The harder a funeral home tries to create a "comfortable" environment, the odder it is.

Still, yesterday, in a funeral home chapel carpeted in a kind of fushia-color that only exists in a nailpolish bottle, one woman stood up at the end of my friend Teri's funeral, and brought the whole thing home.

She sang Amazing Grace. She started just above a whisper, with the most restrained, distant silence. Suddenly, everything in that surreal, artifically-soothing environment, got very real.

What a gift.

The song has a fascinating history. This morning I heard the story behind Amazing Grace is the subject of a new movie, and the Web site holds an archive of history, trailers, and more. (It's down right now and I couldn't pull it up).

It was a song loved by both sides in the Amercian Civil War.
It is also considered the Cherokee National anthem, as it was frequently sung as a burial song for those who died on the Trail of Tears.

Not sad today, ladies. Happy to be alive.

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