I like to sing.
Now, after years of abuse, smoking, colds and not singing, my voice is mostly gone. That little girl who could hit every note in How Great Thou Art without wavering? I’m not sure where she’s going.
I have always loved to sing. There’s a certain place you find in song, when the words are pure and the notes ease from your skin like honey, and comfort and joy descend upon you. There’s a bliss to be had when singing. But singing, making true my voice, has always been tied to comfort and happiness.
When boarding with a friend’s parents, I didn’t sing for a month, not even in the shower. One day, sitting in a corner reading, his mother commented that I must finally feel at home, for I was singing. I hadn’t even realized I was, but I knew she was right. I felt accepted, and for a time, happy.
Years before my daughters I felt like singing, and would, it being the easiest way to purge bad thoughts and poor feeling. It made me, simply, happy. I could sit and lose an hour or two feeling the rush of my lungs cross my lips.
Once the girls came, I’d find myself crooning to them, song I considered magical if only for the potency in their lyrics. Never Seen Blue, Sweet Dreams, Lodestar, Came On Lion..many songs but mostly those, simple in their loveliness, their wishes for love and peace. I’d sing to quiet them at night, or to bring closure to their day, rocking back and forth in my arms as I stood waiting for their eyes to close.
Lodestar: Sarah Harmer
But then I stopped singing. Came the bad time and my voice shuttered. Came the time when my house didn’t want to hear my voice, hear the voices that sustained mine. And I stopped, struggling sometimes to sing in the shower perhaps, or shout along with my daughters to a theme song or christmas carol. But once shamed to silence with the roll of an eye or a sigh, you just stop. Something is snatching from your chest, and the power isn’t there anymore.
It just becomes an empty hollow place.
I never thought it would be painful, but it is. A piece of me, pushed down, huddled there, almost stunted because she just doesn’t know what to do anymore. C’mon Billy came on shuffle last night, one song I’ve always loved for both it’s power and brevity, and I just…didn’t have it in me. I didn’t feel safe or happy, able to split open and let loose what’s been held.
C’Mon Billy-PJ Harvey
I’ve felt this way for longer than I care to admit. I hate to admit to myself that I let this happen. I stayed in a place that didn’t want me to sing.
Who wants love, who wants security, who wants the simple comfort of not being alone if it stunts their soul? Why did I think I want that?
One of my favorite bands includes a saying on their CD’s-Sing While You May. Shouldn’t we all?
Belladonna: Legendary Pink Dots
(Quadelle had a fab idea to do a series of posts based on phrases from Mary Schmich’s commencement address . [You may remember it better as a “song” by Baz Luhrmann] I thought it was a great idea, so, I stole it. Or copied. Whatever. Imitation is the soul of wit. Or brevity. Or both. )