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Day 5 - There is a Space I have Known Of

In this space, there is no shrinking back. It’s stepping up to more. Joyful embrace. Expanding. No judgment. Be more. Always more. Never stop. Move. Be so much more. The fire of inspiration. The breath of water. Earth on the rocks. Thrival. Total thrival.

How do I get to be this space? Really BE it? And, where am I so wound up in this reality?

In this space, there is no shrinking back. It’s stepping up to more. Joyful embrace. Expanding. No judgment. Be more. Always more. Never stop. Move. Be so much more. The fire of inspiration. The breath of water. Earth on the rocks. Thrival. Total thrival.

How do I get to be this space? Really BE it? And, where am I so wound up in this reality?

Last night, I listened to my own recording from the day, “Beautiful Flower". (My interpretation of India Arie's "Beautiful Flower": you can listen to it here:

“There is nothing in the world that you cannot do! When you believe in you.”, and still today I can’t stop crying… crying forever it seems, deep long sobbs in waves!

Totally takes me by surprise. Who does this belong to? Do I tap into more than just my stuff? An ocean of uncreated inspirations, lost in judgment and impossibility? Sense of loss forever, senseless judgments and ‘not ready’s’, suffocated gleams of inspired fire, never written songs, unpainted paintings, porcelain smoldered in the kiln, sculptures never uncarved from the marble, music never written on sheet and papyrus, words floating in the ethers…. Is it the genie of the song? The shattered dreams? The never ceased days?

All the moments came to me at once when I felt like being the only one on the planet, no real friends, just harshness, criticism, walls, …. All these years of holding back. Is it broken pieces from some long forgotten past? Wherever I still had pieces of it wound around my fingers, I let those go.

Is it possible that the time is only now? All these years and eons of gestation coming to a burst? Bursting into being through and with an ocean of tears? Gosh, how burst can I be? How open wound? Each molecule shivering in the now, raw, untamed, unaltered, present, untampered, quivering being.

I had my moments with my voice…. Mostly judgment. Everybody telling me how one has to sing. All these teachers and voice coaches along my path…. With their ‘not high enough’, ‘not yet’, ‘not ready yet’, ‘don’t perform’, ‘not good enough’! Leaving me with confusion, leading me into believing that I had no voice that was worth working with, a voice that could never be the gift I knew it could be to the world. The question was: What actually IS my voice? To me, it is not one thing or another. It is not a register or a box. To me it is like a painting that can be abstract today and a flower, an angel or a wild beast tomorrow. I have experienced this voice that comes through me as anything. It can be operatic, it can be wild woman’s song of the rock and the mountain, the whale and the humming bird, it can be jazz sung on electric wires from a rooftop in the village, it can be pleading Evita, Cash’s Burning Ring or a daunting tune from ‘Chicago’. What is my voice? It feels like warm clay with pearls that can take any shape, form, color or texture. I had my moments with my voice that left me somewhere between total confusion and fascination. Comments and criticism of others added to more disillusion. Where do I go with all that? Where do I turn to?

Was it my stubbornness the kept me going? Or was it my knowing? Right now I don’t have an answer. What I know though is that I love singing. I know the power that moves through me when I sing that has nothing to do with performing. It has everything to do with being. It is all about allowing. It is an experience.

My mother who had told me when I was 33 that I was too old for a singer’s career and that, if anything artistic at all, I should better just paint, or stay in my job at the bank, left me, right before her passing, a beautiful note card with red poppies that had a poem written on it: “Follow your Star, Sing your Song, Shine in Your Colors, and you will Be thriving Life!” No personal note, just the picture of the poppies with this poem from an ‘unknown author’. I kept the card. How much of her resistance against my creative, wildly artistic being, was her resistance against her being and her judgment of herself?

What carried me through all this were people that showed up magically in my life, a kind word, graffiti’s on subway walls, messages written on paper clips on pin boards, a musician randomly singing on a street corner, a puppet player, all those having my back.

The tears are melting all the broken pieces of glass. My voice coarse and raw. Body exhausted. Reminds me of ‘white nights’ in Paris. Unrest. Moving the melted broken pieces out of my being.

I let them go.

And I remember the amazing moments that I had with my voice. They all came from the unprepared improvisation. Not the learning. Not the studying. Not the sheet. They came when I stepped up onto the stage, with nothing but my voice. Where I met others that created with me and we improvised in total communion. We reached heights in these live moments that cannot be repeated. A moment can never be repeated. I can never repeat an art work. I can never repeat a song. It will be different each and every time. This is when a piece of art becomes alive. It is enlivened by the spark of a moment when we are so present, not caring about a note and a memory of how and whether at all we sang it before.

How much more is possible if we allow for every moment to be the space of the spark? If we don’t rely on what we have created before? If we allow each and every creation to be what it is, in the moment?

Who knows? It might be totally different from the previous song! And who said each song has to be composed with the same colors? The richness and preciousness of a creation is its uniqueness, it’s one-of-a-kindness! Here I let go of the box and the register. I choose to sing the note required in the moment. I choose to give the song the color of the moment. It will be different each time.

If I don’t strive for repeating a success, if I don’t strive for repeating a song or a book or a painting, and I allow each rendition to be what it is and my voice to sound the sound of the moment, then I create. Anything else would kill the creation.

I choose to be alive with my art. I choose to create beyond this reality, whatever that requires, no matter what.

So, sharpen your knives, critical voices! I will not repeat my song! I will out-create me and my creations each time. Try adding me onto your shelf of neatly packaged books and trophees and boxes! I will elegantly and fiercely slither right out of there with a big smile! I don’t fit into the register of this reality, and I don’t strive to either! I will play you! And it’s me who drums the rhythm of THAT song!

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