Philipp Nicolai wrote “Wake, Awake, for Night is Flying” during a rough spell. 1300 of his parishioners had recently died of the plague, and he was conducting 30 funerals a day. I expect he needed to be cheered up himself. He wrote both the words and the music, but Bach is the one who usually gets the credit for this piece. He did the harmony and many of us know this piece as part of the cantata “Wachet Auf,” a title which has made a lot of people laugh.

The song isn’t one of those very singable ones, but it’s a good tune, a great arrangement by Bach, and a nice joyful sentiment, perfect for Advent. If you’re not up to singing it, you can enjoy it on organ here.

I’m not very joyful, myself. I’m having ongoing trouble with my internet connection — and the internet is where I work — I’m broke in spite of having a lot of invoices out, and I’m seriously behind on my work. I’ve probably conveyed sufficiently the positives of self-employment over the past year, but one of the bad things is that people pay you on their schedules, so it’s possible to be working a whole lot and yet not earning a whole lot. Since half my income goes for tuition, I don’t have much leeway.

So I haven’t taken my computer and/or modem in to be fixed, and am just hoping I can stay connected today in order to do my work.

Yesterday I rewrote a car repair website, and today I have an optometrist’s site to do, and both of these are from oDesk, which guarantees payment. I also have grading to do, and regular clients (who haven’t paid yet) and my big project with the art center (which hasn’t yet paid). The haven’t yet paid part is why I’m continuing to take new jobs with oDesk even though I am swamped.

Last night I had to go to bell practice, always an unpleasant thing. However, Elkhart swapped bells with me. I was playing the Bs and Cs in the octave bellringers know as 5. Now I have B and C 7s. You can go through a whole piece and only have one note if you play these bells. It’s a big improvement for me. I can mostly just stand there, and then, in “Break Forth Unto Joy,” for example, play the final note with swings and a table thump.

Then we had choir practice. We had a new tenor, possibly a paid one, but that’s fine with me. He sat right behind me, next to the baritone, and Janalisa sat next to me, and this arrangement improved my experience of choir as well. We’re working on “Call Him Jesus,” by Ruth Schram, which is really quite fun to sing.

This good music — and of course the fact that we’re not dealing with the bubonic plague — has cheered me up quite a bit. I think I’ll get dressed and have breakfast, and if I’m still connected to the internet after that I can enjoy the large amount of interesting work I have scheduled for today.