The Symphony of Comprehension
by S. M. Hutchens
There's a little girl in our church, severely retarded, who likes to sing with the congregation. She can't come close to carrying a tune, and what she produces is a kind of croaking descant that enters and leaves the hymns at odd and unpredictable intervals. It's not tuneful in any recognizable sense, but in a way difficult to describe it seems to belong, and not simply because she is one of us and "it takes all kinds." As far as her singing is not part of the music, the congregation carries her along, and as far as it is, there is a larger aesthetic . . .