Thursday, April 23, 2020

I sing

Let me tell you about singing.  I like to sing.  I don't know when it was I started singing.  I think about pink lipstick when I think about singing as a kid. I think it had to do with this pink lipstick I would buy and wear when I was at home just fooling around singing.  I would sing and then ask my mother, "How do I sound?"  She would always tell me that I sounded great and to keep singing.  I'm laughing now.  I wasn't a great singer.  I'm not the best singer now but I like it.  When I sing around at work, some of my friends joke and tell me to shut up.  Every now and again, I'll sing for the students.  They are always so surprised to hear me sing.  They'll start laughing.  It's a strange reaction.

I hear my daughter sing.  She has a lighter, softer voice.  My voice is aggressive in the lower registers and softer in the higher although I think I have worked on the volume enough to do some transitions between head and chest when I need to.  There is breathing in singing.  It is meditative.  I sing more for myself these days.  I had a period of time where I thought I would be a singer.  I loved singing in high school and college.  I would practice for the longest time.  My dad would help me.  He would make me record myself to get used to the way that I sounded.  I then would need to correct all the nasal intonations and cracks.  There were some really great voice singer.  My choir director, Tony who I thought of and treated as my older brother.  He introduced me to some of the best gospel.  I learned to harmonize in the choir he ran.  I sang in the Gospel Choir in High School and for part of college.  I performed in musicals.  I sang on the worship team in the churches I went to.  It was a blessing... for me.

I remember reading "Sonny's Blues" in high school.  It was written by James Baldwin.  There is this  blues player and he is talking with his brother about suffering.  As he passes a revival tent, he hears a woman singing and he talks about how much suffering she had to go to in order to sing so beautifully.  There was a revival tent by this church I used to go to.  I remember visiting the tent with my father and sitting in the back as a guest.  Women wore coverings on their head and although I had longer hair, I wasn't able to go up close but I understood what Baldwin was trying to say when this woman sang. 

I found this poem by Bhakti Larry Hough.  I tried to find it but it went something like:

"Maybe one day I'll sing,
And like Marvin [Gaye],
Vent my soul
To allow the demons to escape
On wing of melody
And become angels in the process."

There is this idea of allowing the pain and suffering to escape through song.  I wonder what God hears when I sing.  I am thankful to have a song to sing to Him, it is new every day. 

Psalm 96:1
"Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth." 

And so... I sing!

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