Monday, December 7, 2009

Song of the Soul

The reputation of my injury (especially the location) preceded my arrival to the party, so sympathetic greetings walked me across the room. The gathering was to inaugurate my friend's sunroom which had been transformed with a mural and hardwood floors.

Stopping by later after my band practice, for this party centered around music, I jumped right in with a couple of songs. Easily comfortable behind a microphone and under red lights, this kind of informality is much harder for me to play than on stage. I was very shy and stumbled.

Out of the corner next stepped a woman, petite and stikingly beautiful, whose small, humble talking voice was no indicator of the strength and clarity of her singing. When speaking of the power of God and the Universe, there is no better evidence than the rich notes that alternately soared and floated out from her operatically, casting the rest of us spellbound.

Shyla Nelson, I learned, has taken a leap similar to mine with more concentrated determination and measureable success. Performing regularly in the region and internationally, her incredible talent is stirring audiences.

Close to the heart, her work as a voice trainer has accelerated as she focuses on her conviction that strengthening the inner core of the body solidifies the voice, not just as a musical instrument, but as an expression of the soul. Through the power of the voice, one can heal wounds that may have affected the psyche for a lifetime.

A striking clarity in her eyes, the purity of her voice, and the confidence in the spirit behind her message lingered in my mind during the week, finally urging me to send an email. My request was for a simple one sentence evaluation of my voice as she had given on the spot to another musician at the party.

Instead, she invited me to a session later that week. As the morning approached, I became more aware of the appropriateness of this therapy to aleve the disorientation I feel around my circumstances. Not only am I adrift about reconciling my creativity versus being stuck as a carpenter for income, but I am so physically wounded in my core pelvis area.

Emotionally, I remember explaining to my wife two years ago that I needed time to hear my own voice again, that in the stress of our lifestyle, the shouting was drowning out any sense I had of right and wrong choices. Almost immediately, I began playing music and writing songs again, but still struggling for direction today, this work with Shyla might spring me forward into a new realm of understanding, motivation and confidence.

Her greeting at the door was warm and exuberant, like old friends. "Good to see you again," she exclaimed.

As background, we talked of my poverty, my frustration, my wounds from the fall, my marriage, and even my childhood. I described the exhaustion I feel trying to live up to the expectations both self-generated and placed upon me by my parents and others.

Perhaps this injury and forced months on the couch have been a time to lay the burden down and rest, grow silent against the demands and find the inner voice that can better rise to meet them. Shyla agreed and sympathized, saying that I rest in good company as this year has seemed to be a turning point in so many lives.

We agree that there is a magical energy afoot that makes it seem our meeting was no accident or co-incidence, but a marvelous synchronicity that is likewise connecting souls all over the world. Every where, people are in personal transitions as palpable as the sky before a thunderstorm that leaves the earth afterwards clean and refreshed.

By virtue of my needing to write, my path crosses with someone who would like to have her process of teaching transformative singing described. My aching body and weary mind is in need of the strong voice she promises she can help me find. Through this work, it is my hope to sing out with the clearest notes, one more voice added to the song that, all together, can elevate each of our lives.

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1 comment:

Hayden Tompkins said...

This is FANTASTIC, Kip! You are really choosing to inhabit your world as a musician, no matter what else you do.

I think working with a vocal coach is pure genius, and I love how it sets the intention of expression your true voice.

Yes, yes, YES!