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THE ONLY THING BETTER THAN SINGING IS MORE SINGING*
I like singing at the elderly care homes, which we do twice a year, because our audiences for the most part are so very appreciative. They sing along and nod and smile at us. Frail shoulders bob when we sing the livelier tunes and more than one face is teary-eyed when we round up with the 3 tightly harmonic verses of Silent Night.

But it makes me very pensive as I can't help but put myself in their slippers and wonder what life is like there for them, what will it be like for me if I end up someday in a nursing home in Sweden. It seems trite to say that it seems the elderly cling to the familiar because honestly, doesn't EVERYONE? I know there are plenty of adventurous souls out there but even they must need their comfort food once in a while and their own bed to sleep in now and again and their own daily rituals and routines.

If I have lived in as many places as I have, and moved as many times as I have and been acclimated to more than one culture...where will I ultimately be happier at the end? In Sweden? In the U.S.? Right now, they both seem equally foreign and equally comfortable.

If déjà vu is the feeling of having been in the same situation before, what's the word for the feeling that you will be in this situation some day? Psychic? Heh.

By the time my generation reaches the nursing home stage, I wonder how things will have changed...broadband connection in every room, for sure.

***

There are so many young singers out there right now who have amazing voices. I just watched part of the Junior Eurovision song contest and caught the 9-year-old Russian sisters who won. Wow. And the girl who sang for The Netherlands did a super job and so did Molly Sandén, who represented Sweden. The thing with Junior Eurovision is that the contestants must write their own songs, both text and music. I find it incredible that 9-year-olds (probably 8 when they wrote the song) could come up with such a sophisticated jazz number** but apparently they've been singing and performing since they were FOUR.

Hayley Westenra was only 15 when her first album, Pure, hit big. Joss Stone was 16 when her breakthrough happened. Bianca Ryan was 11 when she sang the bejeezus out of And I Am Telling You on TV this year. LeAnn Rimes became at star at age 13, as did Amy Diamond, while Charlotte Church was only 11. And I'm not even going near Britney, Christina and the rest of the Mousketeer phenoms.

Is it just that there is more global exposure for talent at such a young age than there was when I was young, thanks to the ubiquitious television, shows such Star Search and American Idol, and Al's Internet?

Really Great Writing Out There Right Now: Happy? (Nov 18 entry)

*Ella Fitzgerald
**Although the only translation of the lyrics I could find online was crap.
 contemplative
mood: contemplative
music: D.H.T.—I Go Crazy


Comments
precognizant

Yes, precognizant is the word. And it is weird to think about. Because we (some of us anyway) are closer to that end of our lives now. What indeed will the end chapter of our lives look like?

I remember being eleven or twelve years old and being very angry with all the adults in my extended family, because my beloved Grandmother, whom I had watched cook for and care for everyone for all of my years, was in a nursing home. Why wasn't she at one of our homes being taken care of?

So.

I love my computer. But it is not my family. And I don't have the answers either. Hmm.

Oh, thanks for the link to the "Happy" piece. That was really really thoughtful. I loved it.

I know exactly what you mean. I even work on a dementia ward so I ponder about not only being old and in a nursing home, but senile as well.

(Anonymous)

Liz, have you seen "Look at Me?" It's a lovely French movie about a young woman who loves to sing. That's not the whole story, of course, but it's the part that's relevant to your post. Anyhoo...I think you should see it. It's a dear film.

-terrell

No, I haven't...sadly. I used to regularly rent foreign films at a great little video place down the street when I lived in Chicago, but when I first moved to Sweden, I realized that they were all subtitled ...IN SWEDISH. Nowadays that wouldn't be so much a problem, but I'm totally out of the habit of renting films and the bus station doesn't have anything except blockbusters...wah! I will put it on my list to check out though and if I get the chance will hunt it down. Thanks for the rec!

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