“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” ~ Marilyn Monroe
I thought we were soulmates. A friend gifted me this pretty little Gibson B-25 guitar. “Here, you take it- I’m not ever going to play it.” It had a sunburst finish and steel strings, far superior to the Sears Silvertone with nylon strings that I had been playing. At 17 years old I could not believe my good fortune. It was love at first sight.
I plunked and played that guitar trading songs and riffs with friends until I moved away to college. There really was never another time where I was surrounded by people that played music. My skills languished. Now and again out of guilt I pulled out the Gibson, played for a bit and then put it back. Playing alone wasn’t satisfying, but really, the instrument didn’t have enough base and tone for my ears anymore. Still, I refused to admit I had fallen out of love.
Continue reading “Breaking Up With My Guitar”
“If I cannot fly, let me sing.”
― Stephen Sondheim
I’ve always loved to sing. In elementary school in my babyboomer upbringing, we always started the day with songs. They were usually patriotic in nature – “My Country Tis of Thee” or “Oh Beautiful for Spacious Skies” sung with heart with our bird-like voices. Then there was nothing like those fun songs I learned at summer camp.
As an adult, I have had to hunt for places to sing (other than the shower). Music has become more of a spectator sport in our culture, a solitary experience of earbuds, or just reserved for churches. How lucky I was when a women’s choir started up six years ago within a driveable distance of my rural home. Every Tuesday night my friend Linda and I drive to 12 miles to McMinnville for practice. It’s work and fun at the same time. We are a community of women united in our voices.
There have been studies done on the mental and physical health benefits of singing in a choir. There is something truly healing by breathing and weaving our voice in with a group of other people. Singing unites us. I can gift to others with my voice and it helps chase away the holiday blues.
The culmination of our efforts is our winter concerts. All the worries of mistakes float away. We walk into the hall, confident, our voices blending in beautiful harmonies facing our audience and sharing our songs. I revel when I see eyes close, smiles on faces, and even a tears running down cheeks.
Practice behind me
Audience before me
The piano preludes
The conductor cues
Now our voices pour from our hearts
Wrapping all in a harmonious cloud
The splendor of song filling the room
Infusing our souls
And those before us
“Words make you think. Music makes you feel. A song makes you feel a thought.”
― E.Y. Harburg