Most of you know that I recently produced two virtual choir videos for Holy Week: The Psalm of Hope for Palm Sunday and The Psalm of Hope for Easter Sunday (containing different verses and visuals). I had never worked with this kind of computer tech before; ignorance is bliss… I was lucky that my son, Elliott, led me through the particulars of the complicated audio and video editing program—bless him for his patience! I learned a lot though, and even if I never do this again it will have been worth the hard work and many long hours invested in this project.
I came away from this experience with a better knowledge of the workings of computers—the functions and controls, etc. I have used a music writing program for many years, but first had to learn how to create the “click track” that our musicians had to follow in order to record the music. I learned a lot about what can be done with recordings (audio and video) in order to transform them into visual and vocal cohesion and artistic fusion. (Don’t believe anything you hear or see on television, etc…lol. Yea! Live music!) I also gained some insight into future musical teaching for my groups based on the courageous recordings I received from our Music Ministry members. (It can be very intimidating hearing your own recorded voice; seeing and hearing yourself—and also having to deal with the tech of how to individually record the audio and visual is in itself, very challenging!) It was a large learning curve for us all.
In spite of the many challenges and difficulties in this production, it was a joy to work on this virtual project for many reasons: this was a project for the music ministry to sing “together” again (in this long covid pause); it was a chance to share some of the skills and talents of our St. Aidan musical parishioners and ministry members; it was an opportunity to give a gift of music much missed by all of us. Worth it for all the difficulty encountered!
One of things I learned in the midst of this project was how to use the “shortcut” functions on the computer keyboard. You know: “control c” means to copy; “control v” means to paste—much easier than the whole dropdown menu—to have to hunt and search for the command every time and do that twice. Then there is a very critical one: “control s” to save and not lose our work. But I think the command that impressed me the most was “control z.” “Control z” undoes any error that we make (or realized we made). It was wonderful! What a way out of unthinking decisions and errors of—whatever. I decided I needed a “control z” for my life for many of my past and questionable decisions…
So why am I writing about computer functions, and in particular, “control z?” Because thanks to the Church, we do in some ways have a “control z” for our lives. That’s what Reconciliation and Absolution are about—to try and understand our sins and then wiping away the stain, able to move forward in our lives. I don’t mean that the mistake didn’t happen—we go on working after a “control z”—doing better having learned from, improved upon and corrected the mistake, and we are unburdened, not weighed down, in order to continue on. Thank you “control z!” Thank you, Reconciliation and Absolution!
I had an amusing conversation with a friend of mine about this—and we agreed how a life “control z” would be convenient for wiping away many moments of mistaken judgement. You know; opening that second bottle of wine, “control z!” No hangover headache. Or making unthinking comments in the course of conversation, “control z!” No hurt feelings. Or not paying attention, denting your car backing up, “control z!” No repairs. Wrong note(s), “control z!” Musical perfection… You get the idea.
I do believe that mistakes of any kind and level are important for us humans, though; they are the best way we learn; and our learning from them are lessons that remain with us and are retained. A life “control z” is necessary for us all—and we have Reconciliation and Absolution in order to learn and move forward freed from our sins and errors. I give thanks for our Church’s Sacrament of “control z” in the midst of our lives—it is a blessing. I am glad to know we have a “control z” for any computer work—and for the one that applies to our every day lives, priorities and choices. Freeing forgiveness!
Keep singing in your hearts!
Just a Note: Here is a song about forgiveness—something we all need…
David J. Conrad, M.A. Theology. Our Director of Faith Formation.