The inspiration for today’s title comes from one of my favorite songs by Vanessa Carlton , called Carousel, which uses the carousel as a metaphor for the cyclical nature of life, which is viewed in an optimistic way by the singer:
“And all I hear is the music,
And beauty stands before me,
And love comes back around again.
It’s a carousel, my friend.
It’s in the music,
And beauty stands before you,
And love comes back around again.
It’s a carousel, a carousel.
It’s a carousel, my friend.
And time won’t wait, so don’t be late.
White rabbit’s on the run .”
Although, truth be told, I can’t really do any running right now because of my gimpy foot, this was definitely a day that provided a lot of material for overthinking, and those who know me well know that I seldom avoid such opportunities to overanalyze . Of course, I happened to make the guess today while getting ready for services that there was a chance I would be invited at the last minute to a soiree celebrating the youth choir for its efforts. As it happened, I received that invitation right after services, which made me glad that I had brought a change of clothes just in case, which gave me at least some pleasure in my abilities to predict at least some of what people are implying without directly stating it. My abilities in that area are far from perfect, but they are good enough sometimes, at least, to make life more pleasant.
When I first got to services it was time for choir practice. We were supposed to perform today, but aside from the fact that many key people were either missing in action for one reason or another, the piece that we were supposed to perform still needed some pretty substantial work, so we will be singing it, along with another song, on Pentecost, which promises to be interesting as we refine one song and learn another one. One of the people who missed practice did so because one of her little ninjas (I call her daughters ninjas because they are exceptionally quiet for children, and capable of traveling very stealthily) had an allergic reaction to some insect bites, which required some urgent care. I hope the little one is feeling much better there. That said, given the way it hurts to stand and how uncomfortable it is to hobble around, I was relived not to have to hobble around on stage, especially given that I had Sabbath School to teach as well.
Sabbath school went pretty well. The students appreciated the discussion about Daniel and the lions’ den  and managed to pick up on some of what was going on with families and politics. I even had a somewhat unexpected guest, who sat quietly and listened to the lesson, which prompted me to ponder and even ask about why that was the case, because I tend to be rather quickly concerned about particular situations and about the reasons why people do what they do. Even though that particular action prompted a lot of thought and musing and questioning about motives, I was able to find a reasonable and positive motive for someone wanting to listen to a lesson of mine, and that will at least allow me not to trouble myself over it for very much further. Given the amount of things that need to be processed from this evening, having fewer things that I need to be concerned about is a good thing.
After all, one of the things I have to be most concerned about is me. I won’t go into too much detail here, as it’s not necessarily a proud moment for me, but while I was eating with a small group of mostly adults, as well as some of the kids of one of the parents there, one of my dinner companions made a rather ambiguous comment about not wanting to eat cow tongue, to which I replied instantly with some sort of witty comment. Most of the time wit can be a good thing in lightening mood, which is one of the main ways I tend to use my wit, especially as a way of poking gentle fun at myself or occasionally those around me, especially by having an inerrant sense of what is the most sensitive or awkward part or interpretation of a given comment. So, naturally, my gift for making what is often implicit obvious can have some complications for me. In this case, thankfully, it appears to have been taken as a friendly and drily humorous comment, but it definitely a sign that my wit can get out of control and do some harm, so that will give me something to think about as well.
The first half of the evening, after I sang with the teens for a bit on the request of the director of the youth choir, and then after eating, I spent mostly talking with a group of fellows, because I was trying to avoid spending too much time around the young folk and complicate matters further. The conversation itself was very interesting, touching as it did on family history very heavily. I happened to find out, much to my surprise, that two of the people in the conversation, my minister and the father of some of the young folks there, came from very similar German-inhabited settlements in the Ukraine before coming to the United States in the late 1800’s after the climate with the Czar became much less friendly. Of course, we all have our own stories about being unwelcome in countries, as some things never change in the course of human history. It was intriguing to me that all of the men I was talking to, including me, were intrigued in understanding family history and the significance of that to our own personal lives. I happen to have been asked today by a sweet little girl why I didn’t have kids, which I must admit is one of the more awkward questions I can think of to have to answer, but it was a question that fit in general with the awkwardness of the day.
When a couple of the older couples left, I went to find a fairly unobtrusive place to sit and participate on the outskirts of the conversation. I got to see a couple of young people who appear to be very close, perhaps even dating, and plenty more flirtation as well as friendly conversation among people who mostly seem to think of each other as family members, which is literally the case in quite a few examples. I got to see some people fighting over ipads and chairs, chatted about geeky things like Star Trek, Marvel movies, and the like. Most of us happened to say goodbye at the same time, although there were some people who were more gracious about saying goodbye than others, and some who seemed to deliberately go out of their way not to say goodbye at all. People are strange, myself included, and tonight provided plenty of things for me to overanalyze, especially about myself.
 See, for example: