Friday, April 4, 2008

The Music We Made

I am not particularly amazing at anything. This idea is not self-depracating however--just a truth I have come to grips with. Sure, there are plenty of things that I do alright, and many more things that I enjoy. I am not an avid scrapbooker, decorator, dancer, etc. I do enjoy these activities on some level. I love to cook, read, study history, and play with my children--but I don't consider myself an expert in any of these areas:) I am okay with this; I believe it makes me a well-rounded individual who doesn't take herself too seriously.

There was a time when if I was asked to tell about myself, the first thing I would have thought of was that I was a singer. That was the one thing I was always confident about as a teenager--I could sing the socks off anybody I met. Not that it was a competition, but I knew I had talent and it gave me a reason, a purpose, a sense of belonging and identity. As the years have gone by I have stopped singing for reasons unknown. A few years back I realized that I had stopped singing in the shower and I never put on music when I was puttering around the house. I suppose that leaving my childhood home where loud music and singing were accepted and even encouraged had changed the way I went about my routine--hence the rest of my life.

Lately I have felt the void the absence of music has left, and I find myself struggling to bring it back. Something has happened that I would previously have never thought possible--my voice got rusty. I can't sing like I used to. The high notes I used to soar on and the belting that came as easily as breathing are gone. I find myself pushing with my throat and to my dismay my pitch is suffering. I want it all back, but it feels like opportunity is gone and wasted.

I don't want my voice back for my own vanity. Of course it has always been lovely to be complimented and held in awe, but there's so much more to singing than the pedestal. Singing was my outlet, how I expressed my emotions and shared myself. Music is also the way I learn best about the world. Subjects are raw and felt more deeply went put to music. I have always felt stronger when I have sung my thoughts and feelings. The reality of this reaches deep. I believe I gained my testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and the assured knowledge of who I am, through music I have sung. Not being free to express myself musically has taken part of that conviction from me. Not that my testimony has been lessened--but I know my conviction is always stronger when the music touches my heart.

So that's where I am. What to do? How to correct this part of me that I have inadvertently let go? I am lucky enough to have a keyboard on loan for an unspecified amount of time (thanks Sofia), and dozens of illegal copies of beautiful music (thanks Jayni). No, I do not play the piano well (sorry Mom, you were right). But as I have contemplated the tragedy of my quitting the piano in the seventh grade and thinking it was too late, I have realized that I am not yet twenty-five, and although I am a wife and mother, I am still young and can learn new things. So I have committed to spend some time every day on the piano practicing and singing the songs that thrill me. I don't care if anybody else ever hears me (and at the present that might be for the best). I am going to push forward and reclaim my identity and love for music by expressing myself through song.

1 comment:

Katie said...

This may sound totally stupid, but you have motivated me!! I don't play much piano or do much music stuff either since life has gotten crazy and because I teach, but I know it makes me happy and that I need to do it. Okay, you have to keep blogging and inspiring me.