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A cathedral in the wilderness. Faint smells of holy oils and incense. Old, wooden pews. A lonely choir loft at night. Alto - young but tired - sits casually in her vocal section.

ALTO: Whenever I hear a song from childhood, I feel myself hurtled through time and space to this choir loft. A VOICE: That doesn’t sound surprising. ALTO: It’s only surprising because I’m not sure who you are anymore.A VOICE: I’m supposed to be a mystery.

ALTO: Maybe. But I hear Tallis and Bach and Hildegard von Bingen and I don’t feel mystery. A VOICE: No? ALTO: They all feel so sure in a way I haven’t since I was little, when I would sit here listening to my mother sing songs older than we’d ever be.A VOICE: I remember.

ALTO: Her voice is hard to forget. It’s clear. It’s like...a warm crystal.A VOICE: I never created those. ALTO: Yes, you did. Snowflakes. A VOICE: Those are cold.

ALTO: Not really. Snow is the warmest form of precipitation there is. Her voice falls on you in a blizzard of beauty and settles in your ears, ice cold and covering and achingly true. Snowflakes make life bearable; so does she.A VOICE: You seem sure of her.

ALTO: I am. A VOICE: No mystery? ALTO: Oh, the biggest one. Her mystery is harder to believe than yours, but I can hear it more clearly. And I can sing along sometimes.

Alto softly hums the soprano line of a Tallis piece and begins to cry.


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