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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Singing the wrong song

If life were a melody, would we sing the song of ourselves throughout it?  And what if it became clear that we were singing the wrong song?

Life isn't a melody for everyone, I see that.  It is a dirge for some, silence for others.  It is a discordant and fractured arrangement for many, all of us have discord and fracture at times as well as harmony and
resonance.  But what if our lives were about recognising and building on our own melody, what if we all had the same possibility to sing for ourselves, the most beautiful song possible?  Ah.  That song may last a long time, it may not.  We may be only able to sustain it for the shortest time.  We may be able to sing the best song we can for ourselves for our whole lifetime.  We may never get to sing our perfect song at all.

The song we sing of ourselves, is about who we are and what we are doing.  If we become too used to it, this song, we forget we are singing it, we sink into habit and sing the words without remembering what they are or what they mean.  If we feel wistful, envious and doubtful, then perhaps our song is not the right one.  Perhaps it was right once, and now needs changing.  Perhaps we need new notes, new words, new meanings.  I wonder if we have just the one song each, a theme song all of our own, which we sing throughout our lives, that has parts and harmonies and notes and lyrics both added and taken away as the years pass.  We join our song with other people, and maybe stay a while, a lifetime, or leave.  Our singing jars with certain songs, harmonises with others.  Louder music drowns out what we are singing, and we sing loudly over other quieter songs.  Imagine if we all were singing the song of who we are, and what we are doing, and we could no longer hear ourselves.  Or each other.  Or, imagine if we could.  Imagine if I could hear and understand your song, and listened to it with delight.  Imagine if I had heard your song for many years and suddenly you were singing a beautiful new one.  I would be thrilled, and maybe my song would adapt to harmonise with yours, and we would sing alongside each other, for as long as we needed.  Imagine if my song were becoming slow and difficult to understand.  I couldn't remember how to sing of who I am and the part that describes what I am doing was becoming less and less distinct.  Imagine if my song was becoming discordant and clashing with other songs, imagine if it was becoming quieter and quieter, and becoming drowned out by confident and louder songs around it.  I would need to understand why I was no longer able to sing as before, and then create a new song.  A new way of bringing back the words I had lost, of describing who I was, so that they once more sang of my truth and my heart and my soul.

The last few months have been about change for me, and I have found it difficult to see where I was going with my work and my life.  I couldn't see what I had already done, and what I wanted to do next.  And then, the idea came that I was singing the wrong song.  All I had to do to make sense of things was to sing the right song.  It felt easier to see my work and my plans as a song, it made sense to me in a way that writing lists and analysing had not done.  The song I had been singing of A Graceful Death, of its progress so far, had been sung, it had come to a gentle and natural end.  A new version of my song now needed to be formed, a new melody found, and a cautious new song of who I am and what I do next begun.  All I need to do, is sing a new song of a new adventure, make up the words of my next stage of who I am, and find a tune that resonates with all that I have learned and experienced so far.  The pleasure of seeing my difficulties of direction symbolised as music and my part in it simply to find another way to sing of who I am and what I want, has made a huge difference to how I feel about myself.

My new song is forming and describes a journey I have always been about to take.  My new song sings of being strong, taking risks, and letting go of what holds me back.  My new song is gentle and powerful and can be heard simply without too many notes, by those who need to hear it, and this new melody is about being older and wiser and a little less seen.  It is about being brave and moving on, giving A Graceful Death a whole new song too, continuing to be sung as ever, lovingly, alongside mine.

So on that note, I shall end.  The song my sons are singing is one of hunger, and I shall go and sing the song of sausages and spicy cous cous. Then I shall hum happily in the bath and sing aloud to a nice uncomplicated detective novel.  It is all making sense.

My song here is the tap tap tap of the laptop while Alan sits opposite me in the sitting room.  This is me writing this blog, and yes, that is a new pink dress, and yes, it is singing the right song for me.