Yesterday someone suggested I write a proposal for a conference presentation on how to get along. More specifically, about how people in the professional voice arena can create avenues of goodwill and constructive dialog. Maybe – be friendlier to each other, and more open to exchanging ideas?
His point was, “its lovely when voice professionals come together and get along, but how do you do that? What makes that possible? We need someone to talk about it.”
I don’t know how to write that proposal yet. I’m not sure how to instruct others on how to “get along” when I have so much to learn about it myself.
Please understand, my chosen profession (call me crazy for choosing it) is fraught with historic tension, fear, anger and strained relationships. I won’t even claim to understand this psychological history, because I don’t and don’t want to. I have heard enough stories and experienced enough relationship woes between voice teachers to know something is potentially awry.
Do relationship problems exist more chronically or pervasively in voice than in other professions? Who cares. They exist, and there are historic “dividing lines” between voice scientists and voice teachers, classical singers and pop singers, university faculty and community voice teachers. Many lines have been drawn in many people’s heads, and you can probably think of a few more than I’ve listed here.
In the heat of the political events last weekend (marches, inaugurations, things like that), I heard a woman say,
“I’ve lost my voice. I feel like I’ve got no voice.”
She said these words over and over and over. It felt like a punch in the gut, because those words mean something to me as a voice teacher and fellow human being. And, I wanted to help. But she wasn’t asking for help. She was entrenched in this feeling, this idea. She was holding onto the statement “I’ve lost my voice” for dear life.
“Wow,” I thought. “Her voice works just fine, but she doesn’t FEEL like she has a voice. Is there even a difference? Maybe not! Maybe it’s the same thing in a way.”
This beautiful woman with a perfectly healthy speaking voice feels . . . unheard, lost, and helpless in the political tumult of our current zeitgeist. Her voice was physically intact, but she didn’t feel like she could speak up, or that maybe anyone cared what she had to say.
One day, your dream will become someone else’s reality.
One day, your dream will open up a door so big that thousands of people from all across the world will walk through your dream.
Today we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He catapulted the dream of unity and love onto the world stage in modern day, super hero fashion. He was a super hero, but he was also human.
Which gives me pause to stop. And dig deeper. And dream bigger than I did even yesterday.
If he could dream on a grand scale, and have the guts to share those dreams with the world, then so can we.
“It’s important to talk about it.”
-My Dad. Yesterday.
Whatever the “it” is in your life, it deserves a voice. This especially applies to the roller coaster experience of grief.
By giving voice to our feelings, we can pass through them and move on to healing. But with grief, the feelings shift and change and tumble about – let’s face it, they are complicated. Fortunately, people like Elisabeth Kubler-Ross have given us a framework for understanding the different stages of grief.
I believe that when we understand something, we can find peace with it. And we can start using our voices to talk or sing about it.
Kubler-Ross’s 5 central stages of grief are:
But! Here’s the thing, y’all. These stages of grief are not linear, they do are not tidy, and they do not happen when we want them to.
“If love hasn’t won – if equality isn’t in place – then it just means our work isn’t done.”
-from writingsfromthecityline.com, Nov 10, 2016
Blogging everyday brings clarity. Not going to pretend daily blogging was my idea, so thank you Seth Godin for telegraphing the concept. I wanted to try it because I know interesting things happen when you commit to interesting projects.
What I did not expect was to find clarity so quickly about the core focus of this blog.
In light of this week’s presidential election results, something steely and vocal is rising inside me. It makes me feel strong, grounded, and it makes me want to speak [the f] up. I use a little language here, because this fiery feeling churns in my belly like a wild thing. It has taken up residence in my stomach and chest and won’t leave me alone. I feel emboldened and kinda fierce and way more focused than I did Tuesday morning. Way more focused.
As I was walking the dogs this morning, it hit me: this blog is a voice for love.