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Saturday, November 22, 2014

I AM NOT A VANILLA SOPRANO!

Surely, I'm not the only one with this disappointment, but there aren't so many singers who read my blog. So, imagine this: Someone sees you in action, doing what you do (in my case, this was singing).  They think you are fantastic and want to hire you, go out with you, or they in some way make you feel as if you hung the moon.  You meet this person again a couple of weeks later to interview, go on a coffee date, or whatever.  You find this person picky, blunt to the point of being rude, and they lack basic social graces.  End of date.  End of interview.  All there is to think of is moving forward.  Yes, this is my story, again.

I was encouraged to attend Unity Church in my adopted hometown.  My friend said that the music department needed a little help and that she thought that I was the one who could lend my voice.  I auditioned, all was well.  The powers that be were excited to hear my voice.  I even got a chatty, excited phone call the following week to work out when we could meet.  I got the time confused, and evidently, that was the beginning of the end.  When we did meet, she was cranky and reminded me of my error (even though apologies had been more than sufficiently offered).  She had previously wanted me to sing in the Christmas concert, but after the meeting, she decided to cut me from the program.  Three songs she brought.  Either she spent time correcting my technique or verbally spitting on me by saying, "No, someone else can sing that better than you can."  She treated me as if I were a lazy diva rather than having been recovering.
April 15th (ish) 2012, I was with my sister and my friend Erich when we decided to spontaneously "sing something."  I couldn't physically make the melody happen.  It was some noise that I didn't intend to make.  I could hear the right pitches in my head, but just as someone with Tourette's syndrome has no control over certain movements and sounds, I had no control of this sound, but the sound coming out was not flowing.  It was more like a vocal train wreck.  I was devastated all over again.  Instead of holding it in and pulling myself together as I had done so many times through so many things, I started crying, and I couldn't stop.

 That was my first attempt at singing.  This week, I'm grateful for the rude woman who doesn't remember the synopsis of my story; for the old crow who treated me like a lazy diva.  My voice has been recovering, and it has done well. I'm almost home!

That story was a sharp contrast to my experience singing to a patient whom I will never see again.  I was sent to do the start of care paperwork for a home health patient who will only be receiving physical therapy visits.  I was wearing my fantastic hoodie that reads, "Keep Calm, or I will use my OPERA voice."  Her daughter prodded me to sing.  The patient was rolling her eyes at me.  As I began with the words, Pie Jesu, I saw her brow furrow in confusion.  As I reached the words, qui tollis pecatta mundi, I saw her brow straighten and  her eyes get big.  As I continued with the words, Agnus Dei, I saw her mouth open a little.  As the aria moved forward, her jaw dropped. As I finished with the words, dona eis requiem, I saw a puzzled look and tears welled up in her eyes.  She had been in significant pain and wasn't feeling well.  She was struggling to find words, and was able to tell me that she loved it but that it wasn't what she was expecting.  I saw her have a spiritual experience in front of my eyes.  It was the power of healing in sound.  The only words she could say were, "That sound vibrated in my whole body!"  By the time I left, she had her back brace on and insisted on walking me to the door (which she did very well).  She was still trying to explain what she felt in her body that was different than when I arrived.  I said that it (the words) didn't matter.  In my most Southern way, I asked, "It made you feel better, didn't it?"  With a sigh of relief and a smile on her face, she agreed.  It had indeed helped her pain and her mood.  This is indeed what IT is all about.  I'm going to keep letting my little light shine.  Here's the melody, if you're curious: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YAC9vJr--Us
A little facial expression: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=D99tXZkPFQo


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Thinking of Thanksgiving

Yesterday's weather was the first real hint of fall for me.  It was in the 60s.  I brought along my hoodie.  Yes, the hoodie that I have been waiting to wear with the same excitement that a little kid has as she waits for Santa Claus.  I spent Halloween with my friend Tiffany.  We gave out candy to trick or treaters and while keeping warm by the outdoor fire.  I love autumn more than I love spring.  As the weather cools, it is time to be cozy.  My nature as an introvert tends to draw me inward to my own thoughts, creative processes, and ideas more this time of year than in Spring.  Today, my thoughts are on Thanksgiving.As a kid, I hated holidays because I was sick EVERY SINGLE TIME.  However, as I got to college, things changed.  I started hanging out with my cousins, the Oklahoma Yoders at Thanksgiving.  I love being in a crowd of people (meaning: family gathering as other crowds make me allergic) observing.  And laughing.  Last year, the Geek was with me, so we celebrated Hanukkah as well as Thanksgiving with the family.  I've had so much drama this year, but even so, I remind myself that this is not 2012.  For that, I am immensely grateful!  In spite of a break up, a move, and job changes (some of which I sought and some of which I did not initiate) and friendship lost, I am still standing. For the moments of pure bliss and happiness, I am grateful.