I had a nice, unplugged weekend that began with a concert by an a cappella group that figured prominently in a past life. I was a little worried about stepping back in time, but as soon as they began to sing all the muscles in my shoulders unclenched, and a weeks' worth of tension drifted up and out of the old stone church like mist. In New York there's often a fine line between amateur and professional musicians, and my goal was always to confound the experts and sound just like the real thing. But I remembered last night why I love listening to avocational groups--I want to hear a little insecurity, a few flubbed notes. I like being reminded that we're all human. Sometimes the professionals are just too good, and the soul of the sound seems to disappear.
And this morning, as I sat here wishing I could convene a marathon William Billings sing-in and remain offline for the rest of the week, I read yet another article about the (new! radical!) "secular Sabbath":
I Need a Virtual Break. No, Really.
I applaud the author for working 70 hours a week instead of 80. Maybe one day he'll reach a mere 60. We all need to to be amateurs every once in awhile, drift off key, even forget the notes.