Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners


Mental Health Break: Winter, from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”

Emory University's quartet-in-residence, the Vega String Quartet, can play well even in their PJ's.

Emory University’s quartet-in-residence, the Vega String Quartet, can play well even in their PJ’s.

This past weekend we took the kids to a free concert for families at Emory’s Carlos Museum. The Vega String Quartet performed a series of bedtime pieces in their pajamas, surrounded by an audience of young children also in their PJ’s.

Dinosaur PJ’s.

Superman PJ’s.

Princess PJ’s.

Spongebob PJ’s.

Oh, and hot chocolate with marshmallows in styrofoam cups.

Our family had joined the spread on the floor at the feet of the musicians in preparation for what would be a taste of musical perfection. There we were, peacefully sipping hot chocolate while preparing to be transported to higher realms of aesthetic pleasure, thanks to the gifts of these four talented young artists, when it happened: first, in one quick motion from my 7-year-old behind me, a dark, warm, viscous puddle instantaneously formed at the seat of my light green corduroys, seeping into my undies; next, my son’s loud meltdown after realizing his hot chocolate was no longer—no matter that he had just now submitted his mother to what would be a whole hour of sitting with wet pants (not to mention the empathetic smiles of surrounding parents as my husband scurried off to find napkins).

One man down.

And then, within only a few moments of that spill, my son still in the throes of great lamentation, the second man was down: I turned just in time to catch the immediate aftermath of our 4-year-old’s hot chocolate demise, its dewy remains now another large spot on the once immaculate carpet. This time the marshmallows clung to her now-brown pink coat and she was in the midst of a full-blown cry.

Thankfully, the musicians had not begun to play yet, so we were able to recover in time for the kids to return to a state of general contentment, the requirements for which were two more hot chocolates and two new dry spots on the floor. The only annoying reminders of the event were my wet behind and the recognition that Paul and I were the only two parents in this small sea of cultured mothers and fathers whose kids had just spilled not one but two hot chocolates in clockwork succession. But this was mostly forgotten when the Vega Quartet broke into a beautiful rendering of “Winter” from Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons  violin concerto.

Here is “Winter” again, this time played by the Altra Volta string quartet; it comes with the hope that whatever your spills and messes this week, you might by the grace of God transcend them—even if it means the discomfort of having to sit in them for a time with a wet, sticky ass:

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