When I was a child, I sang with an open heart to the angels in the sky. I sang as the music pulled me off the ground into the air and lifted my little body into heights of heavenly bliss. I did not think at all about the songs as they found their way out of my child’s throat. I knew only that singing was something that felt wonderful to do. The sound was alive and around me and in me and it had a kind of three-dimensional texture that was very real, although not quite comprehensible. It had a kind of “rightness” when it “went with” the music which I heard in my mind.
I sang this way for quite some time until, finally, one day, someone criticized my singing and did so in front of my peers in a mean-spirited way. She said my voice sounded like a cat’s and that it was hideous and ugly and that it was best if I shut up. As these words reached my ears the golden flower that lived in my heart shriveled, fell over, and died. A lump appeared in the middle of my chest to take its place and the wind went out of my body as if I had been kicked in my belly with a big boot. I had only just heard my voice on a tape recorder a few brief months before and was amazed to hear it sound so different and in a way, better, than it sounded to me in my own head.
Time passed and the lump melted away as the magic of music again returned to my heart and found its way into my throat and I again trusted that the land was safe to walk upon because the cloudy shadows that had been there were dissipated and gone. I again let the vast spaces within open to the even vaster spaces outside and let the joy the music gave me make its way out of my body and into the world. Eventually, however, I went to college. At college, I was informed by my prestigious teacher about the lacks and limitations of my instrument and of my own low level abilities. The abilities I had had all my life evaporated over the school year until it became nearly impossible for me to utter a musical sound. I was lost. My voice was lost.
Once again, stopping was a relief and in time I felt the music returning like water bubbling up from the ground to become a small stream. My voice didn’t any longer fly out of me like the proverbial bird, and it sometimes felt and sounded unfamiliar. My heart was sad.
Over and over, it came and went through those early years. The knocks and hits it took, and I took, would inevitably stop and when they had ceased, after a while, the desire to sing would overtake me and my voice would once again make its way forth out into the world.
I cannot explain what inner spirit prompted me over the years when I fell off the path and was lost to keep going, to try again, to seek a way. The spirit to sing was so strong that I could not make it cease nor go away. Always there was the memory of that sublime experience I had had as a child, singing while holding onto the hem of the robe of the Divine, and that memory fueled me to keep seeking what had once been my home.
To sing from your center is to sing from a place of healing and peace. Music made there is music that creates healing and peace. To have a sense of the truth of this while you do it is a gift and to share that knowledge consciously while you are singing is a great responsibility and joy.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole, there is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul. There is a balm in your throat to heal your heart and mind. Sing. Enter into the sublime. If you cannot find your way, there are others in the world who can help you. Look for them. Seek them. Enter into your voice and know the sublime.