One of my favorite “naughty” songs to sing with kids goes,
“Honey, you can’t love one. Honey, you can’t love one.
You can’t love one and still have fun. Honey, you can’t love one.
…you can’t love two and still be true.
…love three and still love me.”
Once we get started, I have the kids make up the rhyme on the spot. (Hint: Alternative for “you can’t love seven?” “And still love Kevin!”)
I’d like to sing the song in a Sultan’s harem or a Mormon community or in a West African village and see how the polygamous receive it.
But my thought here is different. Right after a moving goodbye to the Special Course folks, I went to Munich and taught another workshop to 40 different people. Using some of the same material. Was that a betrayal? Like dating one person and the next night, taking another date to that same special spot? And whispering the same sweet nothings in her ear?
Well, don’t ask me about love, but when it comes to music-making, all is fair in Orff Schulwerk and war. Each group is unique and memorable and will receive things in their own way (the Munich group was incredible with the staring contest at the end of “Lemonade Crunchy Ice” *) and at the same time, one cannot cling to close or attach to any one group because the next one is lined up at the door ready to go. Just like the kids in school!
And yet (and like the kids at school), I remember so much of so many groups and their special chemistry and the unique personalities. I have now taught seven of these Special Course groups, about 135 people over 12 years time and I remember every single one. Last night I dreamed about them all and I know why. Had dinner with a Special Course 2003 student (alongside two Level III graduates) Saturday and a 2007 one Sunday. Last week had dinner with a 2009 and 2011 graduate. The photos are flying over Facebook and many of the fellow students responding, so it has become an electronic reunion of sorts. All share in common an initiation into a similar life-changing experience, but naturally, all feel bonded to the actual people at their side throughout it all in a deep way. On some level, I am part of all these communities and another, a bit separate from them. My job is to strike the match and then get out of the way when the sparks fly. (A hilarious conversation the other night about all the mini-love intrigues that went on in these various courses that I was completely oblivious to.)
In work already more fulfilling than most people (sadly) get to experience, the perk of knowing and getting to see so many fun, intelligent, warm and interesting people in all parts of the world wherever I travel is the proverbial icing on the cake.
And it is delicious.
* If you’re confused about staring and lemonade, buy my book ALL BLUES!