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Ode to Cat Stevens

January 2016

Remember that movie Gremlins?  Those creepy little annoying and destructive demons that caused chaos and confusion?  I live with a few of those.  You know about Perfectionism already, but what about Woulda Coulda Shoulda (WCS)?  Did I tell you about him?  He’s the one that used to make me second-guess every single action, decision, interaction, and communication I made. Obviously, he’s in bed with Perfectionism (see On Perfectionism and Discomfort).  Sluts.

Blanco y Tinto May Rehearsal  (105)I have this voice. It’s pretty big. You either love it or you hate it, but between Perfectionism and WCS, it has its tinny moments.  I wouldn’t say it’s been silenced, though being a talker living in a non-English speaking country has left it much quieter and more melancholy than it used to be.  Admittedly, there  are occasions when it becomes wimpy, unsure of itself, afraid of being judged, of saying the wrong thing, singing the wrong note, being misunderstood.

On the best of days, it shines through me, light saber blinding (yes, I do have a six year old), and it is clear and loud, bluesy and hot.  It doesn’t care who hears and yet it wants you all to hear.

It says YES!!!  Sing it, Sister.  Let that joy, that dream, that truth, that story, that pain, that hope, that song….let. it. OUT.

Light it up.

You know why I love to watch karaoke (oh how I miss the karaoke pub nights in the village) so much?  Because the heart and voice (and maybe a little booze) become one on those little one-step stages.   People stand up there with all their dreams bundled up in their voices, the mic in their hands, their eyes closed or to the heavens and they let it out.  I seriously have cried at karaoke (and not out of embarrassment).

Voice is the power behind what you have to say.  It can speak without words. We don’t HAVE voices.  We ARE our voices.  The chords are where our bodies, minds, hearts, and our lives’ very breath meet.

When we bind them, quiet them, use them inappropriately, abuse them, they begin to disappear, sometimes abruptly and sometimes little by little, over time.  Get that diaphragm in shape.  Quit smoking.  Hydrate.  Take a day off, let it rest.  Don’t yell.  Keep it warm and then…Sing it.  Say what you need to say.boy singing

I’m not ashamed.  I’m not hiding that away.  It’s not perfect and I’m not showing off.  And yes, I DO like the sound of my own voice.  It reminds me of who I am.  It saved me.