It came from a song. I have the hardest time singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” It is not because I don’t know the words or that I can’t carry a tune. This is a song about longing, wanting something, or someone or an event that for some reason you can not have. Or maybe you once had it and now it is gone. Or say as in my case I believe it is where I will someday see the face of my kid sister, long since passed away, waiting for me on the other side of this life. Every time I start this song, I stop myself. I feel my emotion catch in my throat. I feel small, alone, and abandoned. A friend asked me today why I never finish this song. For the first time in a long time I told someone why.
I am a broken soul. Most days with a little flair and a jingle or two most people don’t see through the cloud of smoke I lay out. Loss of a loved one is the toughest things that we as survivors have to live with. Tears spill because love cannot be kept. Sometimes all of that love that I am trying so desperately to contain breaks free from my heart and rolls down my cheek. Love
I never realized until today how often I don’t finish this song. This song reminds me of what once was but is no longer. It is a wish, a dream, a fear, a hope, a wanting. It is beautiful. It is haunting. It makes me happy on a good day and crushes me on a bad day. I have a habit of singing in public without invitation. My quirk, my passion, my link to sanity. I promise you that I can sing. I sometimes embarrass the people I am with but singing makes my soul feel alive. If I can make one other person’s life better even for just a span of a moment I feel like maybe I am seen, that what I do matters, that I have a reason to be. For a very long time after my sister died, I felt empty. Singing changes my aura and fixes my broken.
I try to go somewhere every Saturday. I must start this song every adventure and leave it mid verse. Somewhere in the presence of my own grief I forgot that this song means other things to different people. It is not my song and if I am going to start out on this journey I need to get to the end of the yellow brick road. So live like no one is watching, love with everything you have, make those memories and finish your song.
I can always tell when I have anger issues that go unresolved.
The more of my anger I hold in the wider I become. I am not really overweight. I am stuffed with unhealthy anger. As I slide the shower door open a wave of deja vu sweeps over me. I imagine if only for the briefest of moments the scene before me will be as if I am Dorothy alighting from her house, planted into a world of color and beauty and uniqueness where all my dreams wait for me, along the brick road wanting to be discovered and fulfilled; but,it is just my bathroom no magic, no hope, no dreams. In my mind I can see when my view of myself changed. Where in the grand scheme I belonged. Where I changed and become small and scared. I withdrew into a safe place. This place has grown tight and stale. I need to let go of my childish fears and OZ and be the adult I know is there.
In the back of my mind it is 1976. I am 12, the magic of life waiting to unfold.
My mother gave me her stereo for my birthday. She must have loved me very much. She knew I loved to sing. She knew I had it in my heart to become the next Streisand. She loved my voice. I think it was her way of giving me her undying support. My father worked a long time to buy her that stereo. It was an Emerson. You could actually lock the turntable by lifting it into the cabinet between its two side mounted speakers.
I loved that thing. I wore it out. Blew the amplifier, wore the turntable down so it wouldn’t turn any more. I was heartbroken. With that stereo I taught myself how to breathe, to let the notes float out of my soul and over the space in front of me. Singing has always made me feel beautiful. A beauty no one can take or borrow or change. Music makes me feel unbroken.
I have never had a formal lesson. I hear the melody in my mind and I know if it is in the right key. I know if it is my range, if I have enough vocal reserve to hit the high notes. I fly when I sing soaring to heights no one but I can reach. My dreams waiting for me not to be afraid.
Music has always been very important to my well being. Magical is the only way I can convey what it means to me. A depth of beauty many seek but only a few find. I discovered I could sing when I was twelve. I have near perfect pitch and recall. It sets me apart from other people. I am a misfit. I always have been. Music makes me feel like I belong. That somewhere just beyond my reach I am normal. I am well loved and wanted. During the empty years of my youth, before I left high school and ventured into the stark realities of adulthood, I spent most of my free hours singing all things Streisand. I found I could sing just like Streisand. Every note. Every inflection. Singing helped me feel less lonely, less unloved, less unwanted. Not everyone has a wonderful childhood. In fact, I bet most don’t. Yet we mostly survive. Scars only serve as a reminder of past pains and how to avoid them if one can.
Music and singing help me to deal with the burden of sadness that I keep well hidden from most. I learned to laugh to hide the tears, to sing instead of wail, to joke instead of cope. I have never learned to enjoy a moment, to be alive in the midst of something wonderful as it happens. When I sing my soul is at peace. I feel a freedom I don’t want to lose sight of. I am me. I am no longer that lost girl. I am that woman found. Everything seems possible and in an order I alone understand. When I SING I am every single thing I ever imagined I could be: beautiful, well spoken, intelligent. I sing to calm myself, to love who I am. Into everyone’s life rain will fall. Sunshine is always just around a corner waiting for its moment to shine. Sometimes I make my own sunshine by singing.
Marcia, Marcia, Marcia…we all know how that episode of the Brady Bunch goes. Jan felt overshadowed by the wonderfulness that was her older sister. All Jan wanted was to be noticed. To be her own person in her own right.
Middle Child Syndrome.The one that everyone sees but nobody notices.
I think that’s why I fell in love with singing.I know not where you thought I was going with this, right?. I love to sing. I guess you could say that I am in love with the sound of my own voice; I sing that much. There is nothing in this universe that makes me feel more vibrant and alive than when I can belt out a tune.
I find myself by getting lost in the emotion of the words and the sound of the arrangement. I am freed from all the stresses that dot my everyday life. When I sing I am autonomous, no one and nothing can hurt me. My soul is free and I feel like I could be anything. I don’t worry that people will look at me and not see.
I sing at church, in the rain, at work, at Target while I grocery shop. I bet you are wondering if I am any good? People tell me that I am but in my heart I really don’t care if I’m not. I sing for me because it makes me HAPPY. So how can I lose?