Although Donne concluded that no man was an island, maybe people are trees with a sturdy trunk, a vigorous root system and a lithe and flexible raft of branches. Of late, new branches have been growing and old branches have been strengthening.
Possibly man is not an island because he needs to reach out to others to be fully alive: being part of a community adds depth to the human experience. During a life we need many friends both serially and in parallel; with each friend we share different experiences and nurture different loves. Some of these forms of love are the enduring love that people crave.
I sing alto with Di Canto which has now sung at a nursing home two weekends in a row: latino songs, gospel numbers, a bracket from animated films, a Beatles bracket, songs from the Wars and Christmas Carols. The joy that this imparts is writ large on their faces: the soundless clapping, the voiceless mouthing and the tears rolling down the cheeks. Working our way through the wheel-chairs and the zimmer-frames after the concert to talk individually to them: our reward.
Tonight, three sops and I joined with the Sydney Greek Choir to prepare for two performances in the few days prior to Christmas: one for the Archdiocese and another for the Lions Club. Branches are sprouting everywhere; although my trunk is less sturdy than it used to be, my root system is vigorous and seeks sustenance in a mulitude of places.