Thursday, May 6, 2010

Answers

Sunday night the kids decided they wanted to watch Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which we had all recently seen on stage at a local school.

(Funny side-note. 12-year-old-son said about Joseph, “He looks familiar.” His 13-year-old sister says, “Yeah (with a no-duh inflection). It is Donny Osmond, you know, from White and Nerdy.” I laughed to think that Donny Osmond’s fame, for my children, comes from a Weird Al music video!)

Anyway, we have seen it many times (although obviously had not watched the movie for a while), so I enjoyed the music as I watched, but mostly graded papers.

For those of you who have not seen it, it is a musical written by Andrew Lloyd Weber about Joseph and his coat of many colors, and everything he goes through, from living at home with his father and brothers, to being resented and sold by his brothers, to being thrown into jail for apparent immorality, to finally rising to the top in Egypt by helping the Pharaoh during times of feast and famine.

It is a very fun musical, with each song fitting a different genre, lots of humor and dancing and colorful costumes.

One of my favorite songs, though, is more serious than the others. Joseph sings it when he is in prison for something he didn’t do, most likely sentenced to be there for the rest of his life, and he is fairly depressed.

Close Every Door
by Andrew Lloyd Weber

Close every door to me,
Hide all the world from me
Bar all the windows
And shut out the light
Do what you want with me,
Hate me and laugh at me
Darken my daytime
And torture my night.

If my life were important I
Would ask will I live or die
But I know the answers lie
Far from this world
Close every door to me,
Keep those I love from me
Children of Israel
Are never alone
For I know I shall find
My own peace of mind
For I have been promised
A land of my own


Just give me a number
Instead of my name
Forget all about me
And let me decay

If my life were important I
Would ask will I live or die
But I know the answers lie
Far from this world

Close every door to me,
Keep those I love from me
Children of Israel
Are never alone
For we know we shall find
Our own peace of mind
For we have been promised
A land of our own

I stopped grading papers and just watched and listened and thought. Joseph was a real person, with real trials—bad ones beyond his control. Yes, he was depressed, but yes, he had faith in what God had promised him. And I suppose it gave him hope and kept him going. And eventually, his life was grand!

In fact, at one point during this scene, the narrators (and cast) sing,

Joseph's luck was really out
his spirit and his fortune low
alone he sat, alone he thought
of happy times he used to know


hey dreamer, don't be so upset

hey Joseph, you're not beaten yet

go, go go Joseph you know what they say
hang on now Joseph you'll make it some day
don't give up Joseph, fight till you drop
we've read the book and you come out on top


Wouldn’t it be nice if we each had our own book to read when we are going through tough times so that we know it is all going to work out? I guess we do already have books that tell us that: scriptures and patriarchal blessings, for example. I remember my dad commenting about this line in my blessing when I received it: "Difficult times will come. You will know adversity." He wondered what life had in store for me. If this time in my life isn't what my blessing is referring to, I certainly don't know what is, and I hope I don't have to go through worse. Anyway, I guess we just have to have faith and hope and remember that God loves us, and do our best with what we’ve got.

There, was that a bit more positive? :) No definite answers, but a message of peace and hope.

5 comments:

Bravone said...

Sweet moments of clarity are a true blessing. Thanks for sharing your perspective. My wife and I love you both.

Sarah said...

Thanks, Bravone.

me said...

Sarah, may I ask you a technical question about your blog? How did you post your music on your blog?

Thank you!

me said...

And, I hope things continue to go alright with your pregnancy. Teaching is tough enough most days without being pregnant. I have a lot of respect for you!

Sarah said...

me: ask Scott about my music. His email is in his profile. It streams from a private web domain that we own, and it uses something called "opentape".