I have tried to avoid this subject but after reading a very poignant article entitled “Modern Love” written by a sophomore in college I felt I had to address it because it has been one of my pet peeves for quite awhile. Modern technology. Now I am as guilty as the next when I say my life and my work have become much easier with the cell phone, the computer, the Ipad, texting, etc. Continue reading
I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to write about exhaustion or frustration but sometimes, somehow they seem to go together. The frustration comes from knowing what you want and not being able to get it and so exhaustion sets in just from trying. Most of the time it’s wishing people or situations were a certain way. Your way. But they seem to have their own agenda and it’s not yours. Not that it’s wrong. Just wrong for you.
And this is where the inner self needs to listen to what it really needs and wants. I know that I forget and try to change what is the chaos on the outside so become exhausted and frustrated by not being able to do so. Then anger sets in and the cycle starts all over again. I don’t feel in control. I feel anxious. I feel scattered. On and on.
But let’s get back to that inner self. I tell myself that I can’t control what’s going on outside of me but I can control how I respond. I can tell myself that the reason I feel exhausted and frustrated is not with what is going on around me but what’s going on inside me. That as much as my mind tells me to calm down and keep my inner self focused and aware, my emotions take over. The hurt of not being “appreciated” comes over me. The need for outside forces wins and my battle continues all over again.
I guess what I’m trying to say is the real frustration is having such a hard time being with me without the outside justification that I’m ok. Not perfect by a long shot. But I’m ok. To relax and know the only one who is going to make it all right is me. I guess maybe that’s what enlightenment is all about. Detachment without ego. It’s not thinking that you’re above it all and so you check out. It’s knowing that the only calm you can really control is what’s inside of you.
It’s not an easy choice to listen to that inner self because sometimes the drama of the frustration is the vehicle for attention. From someone or something other than yourself. And when it comes right down to it you are all you got in the end. I’ve got the choice of being frustrated and exhausted on so many levels or choosing to focus on my awareness of why I’m getting frustrated and exhausted in the first place.
“Go to your bosom: Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know.”
It’s hard writing about this subject because of the passion I have for singing. Ever since I was a little girl all I ever wanted to do was sing. I had a cousin who was quite a bit older than I who had a beautiful voice. When I would stay at their house I would hear her sing while she was vacuuming. I was all of about seven but when I vacuumed at my house I would sing and pretend I had a voice like hers. My heart would sing regardless of whether my voice matched my passion. I have never lost that love. When I hear anyone sing with that joy I’m seven again.
It doesn’t matter whether or not they have a well trained voice or whether they speak with tone. It is the emotion they bring to the singing that makes it special to me. I have performed over the years briefly and have loved it and feared it at the same time. I have discovered that the reason why I never pursued it was because if I wasn’t “good” enough then I would have not been able to live my passion. That the fear of not being able to fulfill my passion was just too much to face.
I have sung at Caroline’s in New York, Cafe Montana, now known as Le Montana in Paris and the long gone Village Gate. I sang in a madrigal group at Julliard but only for a short time. I studied voice and at one time thought I might have the courage to actually put myself out there in a serious way. But fear took over and I settled for a safe behind the scenes career. Not necessarily easier but safe in the vein of not being visually known and hence not being judged.
I had an amazing teacher who was a beautiful person as well as an incredibly talented jazz pianist who had played sessions for Lena Horne. He always said singing was speaking with tone and to go for the feeling rather than the vibrato. Life is a lot like that. Pure living for the passion and joy instead of posturing. He taught me about the beauty of simplicity. Billie Holiday didn’t have a classically trained voice but she sure made up for it in singing from the heart.
I admire Billie Holiday in other ways than her singing. The depth of her feelings caused her to have other problems in her life but it sure didn’t take away from her strength of singing no matter what. She just sang and didn’t let people judge whether she could. She didn’t have a choice but to sing. That is what made her, to me, such a dynamic soul.
I know I have an option of looking for venues where I can sing in groups or just for myself. Going back to studying just to fulfill an empty part of my soul that could use some love. Not in a melancholy way but in a joyful way. Just for me. Like my beloved teacher, George, use to tell me. Speak with tone. How sweet that would be.