(i who have died)

I thank you God for most this amazing day
"What do you think this song means?" our director asks us,
"Meaning, what does it mean to you?"
Well, we get all the standard responses: e.e. cummings, who
wrote the poem that inspired it likes nature, and/or
is having a really great day and wants to thank God for it
"Yes," I say, "but it could mean so much more than that.
I'm not religious, or into nature. However
I don't know about you, but performing is my life, and after
several months of grueling rehearsals, I begin to believe the
'constructive criticism,' feel as if I am walking senseless through
the world I once loved, lose the beauty of it..."
Heads turn on the risers, eyes focus on me, and
I had no idea that I had that kind of gravity
Sure, immature tenors laugh, but they notice nonetheless
That I could be odd enough for admiration

"I don't know about you, but the moment I get on that stage on
opening night, feel that spotlight in my hair, all my senses reawaken.
(now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
I see all the amazing things I somehow missed before when I was only
worrying about getting this line right, moving where I was directed.
I didn't realize I was walking through the world blind…
and deaf, too, before the audience's laughter and applause opened my ears,
chased criticism, self-consciousness out.
I, who have been going through the motions,
I, who have been struggling, with circles under my eyes, to get through the day
I, who have forgotten what it feels like to stand on a stage and open my arms
and (i who have died am alive again today.)"

"And thank you God!" our director exclaims with zeal,
taking a sip of his coffee and wiping the sweat from his forehead
And in that moment, the ensemble breaks
into unison laughter and then beautiful harmony,
embodying the leaping, greenly spirits of trees
stretching towards a blue true dream of sky,
tasting touching hearing seeing breathing
And then the first sopranos hit an ethereal high C with wings,
which is infinite which is yes
And for once, no one feels like telling them to
stop showing off


I wish I could claim the italicized lines as my own, but alas, I cannot. They are from e.e. cumming's brilliant poem i thank you god for most this amazing. The choral piece inspired by the poem I reference is regrettably also not mine, but the great Gwyneth Walker's. Both have inspired me, so it is only fair to give due credit.