An Artist Date: Church Choirs and Caterwauls

I took myself on an artist’s date last night. 

I saw the sign weeks ago while riding a city bus to the day job.

  • A church concert on a Saturday night
  • Songs of rejoicing
  • Baroque music
  • $20 admission

Hmmm, I thought:

  • Indoors  
  • Air conditioned 
  • Baroque music
  • Affordable

Check! Check! Check! Check!

Since I was at the mercy of weekend bus service, I arrived early –  in a downpour.   The organizers were welcoming and friendly.  They accommodated my request to take photographs inside the church.   I got to listen to the soloist’s rehearsal as I gazed around and wrote in my little jot journal.

St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church inside photos

St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church inside photos

Church Organ Pipes St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church inside photos St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church inside photos

The music was… divine.  The audience was polite and appreciative.  We were allowed to applaud after each piece.  I applauded with joy.

There were no visible candles, icons or statues.  This was not a Catholic church, you know…

There were a lot of grey heads in the pews.

BTW:  church pews are only comfortable for short performances.  Hence… the well-planned intermission, stretch and pee break.

In addition to J.S. Bach, Handel and Vivaldi, the program contained a piece by a little known composer named Thomas Roseingrave. While I listened to the Sonata in G Major – somewhere in that sweet magical span between the Largo and Vivace –  I started to cry.  I was experiencing  joy, sadness and memories of my dear, late parents.

With mascara running, I dug a clean tissue from my bag and soaked up the tears.  I waited until the performance finished to blow my wet nose.

I declined the opportunity to attend a reception after the concert.  I needed air.  I needed to walk.  I needed to be alone to cherish those few hours of beautiful music.

It was a dark and misty night.

The rain had subsided. The side streets of the wealthy Parkdale area provided ample inspiration for my creative, timid nature. Armed with my little digital camera and my curiosity, I scouted for photographic opportunities.

It didn’t take long.  I found a peony bush with its beautiful, huge flowers burdened by the summer rain.


Peonies, burdened by the summer rain

I thought about a poem I scribbled years ago while navigating around peony bushes along Bay Street.  

Peonies are like big-busted women:
Top heavy,
Back strain,
Face plant on sidewalk
after a heavy rain.

Next:  looking down, I saw a sign that excitement would come (!)

Exclamation Mark Sidewalk Hydro work planning

Exclamation Mark Sidewalk

As soon as I took this picture and chuckled to myself, a Tabby Cat appeared from behind someone’s flower garden.  It caught me by surprise (!) with its loud greetings.

Tabby Cat ambush

Tabby Cat ambush

There was much meowing, rubbing against my person and rolling around.  It had no collar.  Hmmmm, the Cat Lady in me wanted to take it home.  The little feline wouldn’t stay still long enough for me to get a picture of its face or check its gender.  I did not pursue that inquiry. 

Tabby Cat Friend 2

Tabby Cat Friend 2



I gave up on this uncooperative subject, bade it farewell and continued along the quiet and misty street.

Caterwauls suddenly surrounded me, piercing the night air.  Two more cats appeared then just as quickly – streaked away into the darkness!

Ah, yes.  It’s that time of early summer. I used to know how that felt in my younger years.  

Next I came upon a front yard hosting a serene Buddha statue.

Buddha Statue

Front yard Buddha Statue

It sat.  I stood.  We greeted each other in silent respect and appreciation.

Moving on, I located an apparently suitable bus stop for the journey home.  I waited and waited.  As I took in my surroundings, I noticed a tree across the street.

Its fate was marked.

Tree Marked X

Tree Marked X

I wanted to give it a hug.  The best I could do was capture the image out of sadness and respect.  Yeah, I’m a tree hugger.  

With little desire to remain at the scene with this image in front of me, I walked and walked to a main route.  After waiting and reflecting on my evening some more, I eventually caught my usual bus home.

This Artist Date was supposed to give me ideas and inspiration for new creations, new writing projects.  It provided an interesting combination of heavenly, human voices and earthly, animal desires.  

Instead of offering new ideas, the evening stirred up tearful memories of family and the characters from my novel. I thought of Father Gio, Georgette, Sera and yes, Tiger Tabby.  I thought about Saint Peter’s church.  I thought about the secret Buddha statue above the Red Hare Restaurant.  Then there was the scene where the antagonist was marking trees in Sera’s beloved forest.  

These were odd coincidences, images that I took time to capture, organize and share with you.  If you are interested in reading about The Year of the Rabbit, please visit  Follow the links.  Dig a little deeper.  You won’t be disappointed. 

Thanks for visiting.




About shewrite63

I am Theresa. I am a Mother, Grandmother and intermittent writer. I published a bittersweet novel in 2011 under the pen name of Florence T Lyon. I am also a real life survivor, community volunteer, Archives and Records Management graduate, and long-time IT support worker trying to keep up with technological changes. Can't eke a living off of my writing skills - yet!
This entry was posted in Books, Entertainment, Health and wellness, Music and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to An Artist Date: Church Choirs and Caterwauls

  1. Theresa sees and captures things the rest of us don’t. If you haven’t read her book yet, this gives you an idea of how sensitive it is. I really enjoyed it.

  2. Perhaps the “X” on the tree was another kind of sign — a scavenger hunt clue or a promise of buried treasure beneath? No matter, you offer readers all sorts of inspirations and story ideas with this blog post. Love the idea of the Artist’s Date. I think I’ll check my calendar and see what I can do as well.

  3. I really resonate to this post: lovely! John Last

  4. Pingback: Arts Night and another cat appearance | Shewrite63

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