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Somewhere Between The Melody and Harmony
by Francie Snell 
05/18/13
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I leaned into my husband Paul. “Oh, I just love this song!” I whispered with ecstasy rising in my heart. The bright projection of the lyrics displayed high on the wall in front of us, the only light in the dark chapel as the music began to play.

I readied myself, breathing in a full chest of air for the song that would soon burst forth. The congregation began to sing the melodious words, and I, with gusto, let out a peculiar note all my own. It was somewhere between the melody and harmony, but failing to agree with either one. It seemed to bound out of my throat, taking on a life of its own, loud and clear for all the angels to hear.

The man standing in front of us turned around appearing startled, as if I had just made a bomb threat. Paul turned his face slightly towards mine with a tender smile and gently patted my hand that gripped the pew in front of us. I quickly decreased my volume as the man turned back to face ahead.

In the past, I was always a first soprano with an ear for the melody. However, now, my spirit is on a quest for new horizons as my voice no longer can hit the high notes. So I venture in my mind, I’ll learn to sing harmony! Well, the problem with that is, I really don’t have the ear for it, nor find the right note unless I am fortunate enough to sit near someone who does. That rarely happens. Therefore, I struggle on my own, wavering between the notes, searching for the right one in an ocean of tone-deaf despair.

Music evokes so many emotions in me, and I find that good writing does the same. Writing has a tone, a rhythm, sometimes a rhyme. The mood it sets and the impression it leaves on the reader is so much like one of a song.

I am often uncertain which chords to use. There is music in a story that resonates in the soul if wisely written. Taking a simple sentence and shaping it with the appropriate nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. can make it ring vs. laying flat on the page without making any impact.

So, I go into my trusty Thesaurus and ask, Hmmm…What word shall I use here?” To me, a single word can make all the difference. It can make the writing pop or flop. It is similar to performing a song with lame lyrics, off-key singing, and musical instrumentation that are off-beat vs. something of divine beauty and inspiration, gracefully weaving its way into the listeners heart and mind. Ah... the quest of a Christian writer.

Therefore, I aspire to find the right notes in writing, singing both melody and harmony. Then, God willing, I will add the piano, violin, French horn, and maybe the harmonica -I’m not sure about that one yet - definitely not the cymbals, but an occasional drum roll might be okay.

It is my endeavor, through writing, to sing and play music for the heart, and just maybe, I will hit the right note.



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