I woke too early thinking about George Floyd and the protests and my response. I spent longer than usual in prayer. I thought it was MLK, but when I look it up I guess it was Martin Luther who said, “I have so much to do that I will spend the first three hours in prayer.” When we don’t have time to pray, in other words, pray extra. I do think I read that MLK said/did the same thing.
I then lay down on my yoga mat in our garage music studio and commenced my soul sound vocal practice, courtesy of teacher extraordinaire Emma Back. Feeling my breath, my body against the Earth, finding in my core my music gift that’s both from me and from beyond me, calling her forth and then, gently, beginning to sing…
Huge crash from the salon above me. My first thought was my microphone had plummeted from its stand. I went up to investigate. The round glass dome from the ceiling light fixture had fallen and smashed into umpteen pieces everywhere. I tried to think of Matt Kahn…Everything is here to help us…but I felt interfered with. I felt like this day was turning into a bummer fast.
Before the crash, I’d had the feather of self-knowledge cross my brow in the form of this statement, “I’m trying to choke myself.” Normally, whenever I get an inkling that I’m harboring a false belief that might be, yes, interfering with me, I’ll work with it then and there. But I had so much I wanted to do on music, and I felt sleep deprived, and so I was going to try to just move ahead.
The light fixture smashes. The thing shielding the room from the light comes crashing down.
So I thought, what the heck, I might as well meditate with my self-choking self. Here’s what lay under that feeling: I was afraid of the king, the older white male authority figure. And I’d traded my silence for safety for like, years. Lifetimes. Centuries. I could feel that’s where my supposed safety and protection as well as my privilege lay. And so I worked with her, this part of me, sharing that I need to stand up for what’s right, that it’s time I become my own authority figure. I told her that I’d rather die standing up for what’s right than be safe at the cost of silence. Also, that God would protect me. That at least my soul is immortal. She agreed.
Together, we revoked our vow of silence through the ages.
And see that’s how it works: I think it’s all life conspiring against me—I wake too early and am already distracted and then the fixture comes crashing down—and then I heal a core belief that’s most in the way both of my singing as I long to in the world, but of me finding my voice right now for what’s right.
My voice is necessary because I am a beacon of light for all humanity.
This has been my affirmation working up the courage to be the songwriter/musician/singer I know I am. And, as Mary O’Malley writes, what’s in the way is the way.
When I resumed my vocal exercises after the beholding meditations, I felt awed and a little scared of how loud my voice came out. I stayed with it, doing my best to retract my false vocal chords so I could take care of my voice as it began belting.
Because laughter helps retraction, I laughed a little, and before I knew it, my whole body broke into hysterics. Could as easily have been tears, maybe. Either way, I savor my medicine.
We all recover all of ourselves
All that’s crying, trying to get out.
As these threads trussing us ping open, we can move as with new arms and legs. More is possible within and between us.
Lyrics from my newest song:
I help you stand as I stand up for me
Loving me body for all the world to see
I help me stand as I stand up for you. We are the same, man, just a different haiku.
Minuscule genetic differences. A hair’s breath. Not even worth mentioning, were we God. And we are. I recognize you, sisters and brothers. I respect, acknowledge and welcome you. Thank you for helping me discover my voice, my power, and end yet another toxic generations-old toxic habit.
This healing in me is one of the best ways I know how to help. It may be tiny, but afterwards there’s more room to breathe, maybe for us all.
I humbly offer up in gratitude the words and songs yet to come.
Thank you. Amen.