Slow Hope

Slow Hope

“Do you know how to sing a scale?” was all he asked. No introduction. No small talk. Not even the standard audition request of “So, tell me a little about yourself.”

I nodded my head and he began playing a C major scale. “Follow along and let me hear how you sound.” His fingers glided easily over the keys of the black Steinway. “Sing me an E,” he called out quickly changing from scales into a C major chord.

My voice sounded confident but I felt nervous. My gaze shifted from his fingers to the clock on the wall above his head.

He changed chords. “Can you pick out an A in this one?”

I sang an A.

Once again he changed chords. “Fine, fine. Now, listen carefully and give me a G.”

I sang a G.

“Great. Well, that’s it,” he aid as he stood up, clapped his hands together glanced up at the clock. “I don’t need to hear any more.”

“That’s it?” My voice trembled. Panic had already set in. “You don’t want to hear any more? I can sing a solo if you want. I’ve got one all ready.”

He shook his head. “No. I don’t need to hear it. You’ll be fine.”

“Does this mean I didn’t make it?”

He smiled. “No. You have a nice voice. You’ll be a great asset to the choir.” He didn’t sound rude, just matter-of-fact. “Would you send the next girl in when you leave?”

I couldn’t move. Was that all there was to it?

He looked at me and smiled. “Yes?” It was more of a statement than a question. “That’s it. You did great.”

I tried to smile but already my lip was quivering. “Okay then,” I said as I once again nodded my head and walked out the door.

The next girl waiting in the hallway was someone I recognized from freshman orientation. “What’s he like?” She asked with nervous enthusiasm. “I heard he makes the audition really fun!”

I shrugged my shoulders, swallowed hard to keep from crying and stooped down to retrieve my books from the worn beige linoleum floor. “I don’t think he liked me very much,” I said. “All he asked me do was sing a scale and pick some notes out of a chord.”

“Do you think you made it in?”

“Yeah, he said I did. You’d better go in. He’s waiting for you and I think he’s in a hurry. I’ll see you back at the dorm.”

My audition was over and I’d been accepted into the student nurses’ choir. I should have been ecstatic. But I wasn’t. I’d been counting on the choir audition to do what music had always done for my short seventeen-year-old life: save me.

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~Excerpt from Slow Hope
by Anita Swanson

The easy questions come first. Have you ever lied about anything and suffered for it? Have you ever self medicated through pills or alcohol? Have you ever contemplated or gotten divorced? Have you ever contemplated or had an affair? Have you ever been abused by anyone for any reason at anytime? Then the message of Slow Hope, The Long Journey Home is for you.

The hard questions come later. How can you save a life gone haywire? Why does it feel like I'm always in a crisis? Where was God anyway?

In Slow Hope, The Long Journey Home, a gifted story teller takes us along on her healing journey and proves to us once again that we can all change our destiny when we triumph over our adversity.

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