I love traveling. Especially as the driver of a vehicle. It gives me this deep freedom to think – because at the wheel, that’s all you really can do.
Sometimes those journeys – the thinking ones – are important and big and necessary and they hit me unexpectedly. Last night driving to the Riverland to see some of my loved ones and spend today working on Manifold Portrait was one of those big, important journeys. I journeyed to many places, but one of them I tried to capture with my mobile phone to share with you.
We make ourselves small in so many ways. Keep our joys and our talents secret. So that we don’t outshine others. So that we don’t disappoint others. So that we don’t accidentally oversell ourselves and then look ridiculous to others. Notice how all those things end in others?
One of the things I enjoy and value most about the internet – and social media like facebook especially – is having a window into the lives of the people I love and the lives of interesting ‘everyday’ people I admire and find interesting. Hearing what gives them joy, gives me joy, make me cheer for them. Hearing their struggles reminds me that I’m not alone and deepens my empathy and my care for them. Hearing about the details of what they do and how they think, expands how I think and what I do. I take and gain so much from what others share.
But sometimes, despite the volume of what I share myself, I don’t really reveal very much at all. I keep myself mostly pretty safe. I slide past the details of my vulnerabilities and mention my joys through statements of success rather than delving into the complexity of my true lived experience of joy.
I listen back to that video and all I hear is every ‘not quite right’ note. I hear my croaky, not quite healed from sickness voice. I hear the indicator of my car and the hum of my car on the highway. I hear the way I gently mock myself (and why anyone would want to listen) in the way that I laugh. I hear the small echo of how very much I truly love people. I hear all my feelings for my children struggling to crack through in tears. I hear all my history both calming and driving me. But what I hear loudest, clearest is that brief moment where the music is about to start and I hurriedly apologise for how this will probably be bad before it starts.
What I hear in that moment is all the damage I do to myself all the time in every area of my life. What I hear in that moment is me saying ‘oh please, tell me that I’m okay, because here is the reason it’s not as good as it could be, but I promise I can be better’. Begging for validation. Apologising for not being perfect. Apologising for using your time on something that you might not think is worthwhile. Saying quietly, I think I am not enough.
And so listening back, instead I want to say sorry for saying sorry. I didn’t share this to prove I could sing. I shared this to share how much joy singing gives me irrespective of how I sound. So even if I did sound terrible (which I don’t), there was no need to apologise and make excuses.
I am enough.
I don’t believe it yet but I know it to be true.
Sometimes that is courage. The quiet whisper. To keep going. To share anyway. To forgive ourselves.
Your knees have been built on quiet whispers/ foundations sliding into songs that lose their voice mid crescendo/ perfect//
Very, very brave. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂
Gosh I love country music!
I didn’t know you sang a bit of Reba and you did so SO BEAUTIFULLY! 🙂 Bravo!
This post and video and message and act of courage of yours has struck me today at a time when I really needed it. So thank you lovely lady, thank you!
You have such a gift for expression in so many forms and this part of your story touches me deeply.
As a music-maker who didn’t grow up cradled by encouragement and told to run towards the things that brought me the most joy i can relate to your fears.
I’ve sung my own songs and songs I love on a few stages here and there and let me tell you coming to a place where you think you have the right to be there never happens. I think maybe those natural born performers and entertainers find that groove but the poets and the storytellers seem to spend their lives always questioning themselves. I think it’s that questioning that allows us to explore the sacred places, both high and low.
If you love to sing and it soothes you then take a good stab at taking it further. If this way of communication lifts you up then maybe your natural knack for storytelling will really florish through song!
Lots of love! Miss you! 🙂
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Thanks lady. There’s so much vulnerability in all of us, isn’t there!
Jess and I are collaborating on some songwriting for Manifold Portrait so definitely am exploring the potential story telling act. Will make sure I keep you posted. Miss you too. Why’d ya have to move when I only just found you?! X
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Oh wow….this resonates with me all too well….are you in my head? Thanks for sharing this Alysha, I needed to see it. You are (and sound) amazing!
“Sometimes that is courage. The quiet whisper. To keep going. To share anyway. To forgive ourselves.”
It’s such a nice feeling when we can articulate something that resonates. I know I love reading things other people have written when I’m like ‘Yes. That. That’s the thing.’
Thank you for reading and commenting. I think you’re amazing too!