Music is my medicine, but I am shy with my own voice—lacking in self-confidence when it comes to singing.
I sing sweet little melodies that are silly and light, nowhere near the powerful sound of Sara Bareilles or Ella Fitzgerald.
My singing voice only escapes in those places of solitude: under the shower water or while driving in the car. Occasionally, I’ll belt out a playful tune while I am biking along a crowded noisy path, knowing that no one will really hear—testing the waters of my voice.
All-in-all, I find that my voice stays quiet and soft most of the day as I write words. I want to sing more, so I look for reminders.
Yesterday, I found a “Sing with your heart” quote on my tea bag tag, so I began to sing a doo-dee-dah-dah-do tune as I typed. Later, I taped the quote on my mirror—as a key to sing. A few hours later, I sighed while reading the words again, as I had found out that Pete Seeger passed away.
Pete Seeger, the grandfather of folk music, showed us how singing our voices uplifted our world, creating change through songs. Like I said, I love music, but I am a writer, not a singer.
I’ve learned to find my voice through writing and poetry, but I want to be brave enough to sing in front of others. A silly desire, but one that feels necessary.
Why do I need to find my singing voice? Isn’t it good enough to have a quiet writer’s voice?
Nope, I don’t think so.
Songs are the pulse of our soul. As we live in these crazy busy times, we need a way to bring ourselves back to ourselves. We are alive in our singing; we share our joys and our sorrows.
As I think about the grand life of Pete Seeger, I am reminded to truly be present in my singing voice for that is the act of living—our voices resonating in song. Let’s not be shy. Let’s live a long life like Pete, singing and creating change in the world around us: a spark of cheerfulness for all.
So if you see me coming down the road, humming a little tune—just smile and know that I’m in training to be an open-hearted warrior.
Join me in singing this song (there’s a sweet bonus at the end!):
And my favorite one from Pete Seeger’s 90th Birthday concert:
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo Credit: Ahmad Soleh/Pixoto