The students that took the Advanced class after our Basic class together through Mastery in Transformational Training had their graduation Sunday night and I witnessed the LP class graduation after it. One of the students that graduated was a young man that was in my class and I went to support him. I’m so proud of him. The room was full of people that seemed to have a new outlook on life and they embodied love. It was beautiful. During the graduation, my adopted son couldn’t see who was surrounding him as he was singing a group chant with closed eyes. We were asked to join in and as I stood in front of him with his eyes closed, I began singing with him and to him and I could see the immediate joy on his face from the recognition of my voice affirming what he was imprinting on himself. There was so much emotion in the voices lifted in solidarity. I don’t remember what we sang, but I remember how humbling yet fiercely powerful it felt to be in that room.
Just the night before I was preparing to go to a music festival and as I sat in my car, I couldn’t ignore the fact that I’m really not a fan of live music. The first time I heard a live recording of Mariah Carey singing, “I’ll Be There” I was sad. It wasn’t as perfect and to me it wasn’t as beautiful. I don’t want to hear crowds cheering. I want to hear the songs that wash me in memories and nostalgia, not songs that are only performance. I have all kinds of weird about concerts and I accept that.
Last week while on the way to the beach with a carload of kids, they listened to songs they found on YouTube. I loved listening to them sing together and even joined in on the parts I knew. I love having music I love playing on iTunes, but that means I don’t know any new music and I can be lost when listening to the radio. I’ve talked about music before. Briefly. I talked about removing my ex’s music from my iTunes because the things we stop sharing hold so much significance in this post and when I finally did it, I wrote this. It kinda paid off on the car ride to keep his music because my son was in the car with me and asked if he could play it. It was in my iTunes. It was available and I was able to be the parent my son needed and at least pretend that the sound of his voice wasn’t irritating me.
I enjoy new music being played live. I love being a private audience. It’s an honor to be the first to hear someone’s heart bleed so beautifully and privately. I’ve enjoyed jazz music in bars and clubs . . . Once upon a time. Music that’s way too loud for the sake of being music and not an excuse to dance bothers me.
My ex’s rap music was a different. His music came with days and nights being home alone with the kids. It meant he was in the studio and might be drinking and spending the night out and my knowledge that the studio often had strippers hanging out. His rap was my abandonment and rap in general makes me feel like less of a person because according to the rap I grew up with, I’m a body and a bitch and nothing more.
A couple of weeks ago during my Basic class I was in the middle of several group hugs. I’m a hugger so it was bliss, but I took that moment as an opportunity to serenade the people that were in the center of our group hug. Music was playing and I was close enough that these people could hear me sing to them and I did. It wasn’t about performance but an offering of the deepest part of me and it was my way of showing them that they are beautiful to me. Toward the end, there were several people singing along with me and the camaraderie resonated in all of us.
In high school singing was about performance to me. Singing a solo on stage from Les Miserable in high school was about belting it out and being seen. It was about attention and being popular. I kept trying and it was years later when I would run into strangers that remembered me that I really felt like I was trying too hard because I was already there for other people. Singing in church wasn’t about worship. I wanted to be seen and heard and I was way too concerned with how I looked or what it sounded like. Now it’s about offering who I am for the gift of what parts of themselves they’ve given me. It’s about playing music that I love and singing while looking at my kids, or grabbing hands for playful impromptu dancing sessions. It’s expression. It’s love. It’s joy.
There is always music in my home and my heart. It can help me develop a deeper emotional moment or curb a bout of sadness. It gets me through traffic with loud singing and driver’s seat dancing and classical music is what I write to when I’m crafting or writing more than how I feel or what I think. It was an amazing weekend and a terrific Monday. Right now my soundtrack is super happy and upbeat and on my way home there will be singing. Loudly and purposely off key.