Sunday, October 09, 2005

Sound Bytes

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Kat's Eyes, Photo courtesy of John Ilao Photography

I felt ambushed.

The original intent was to simply attend a gathering
Have an update or two
On the latest coming and goings
In the local community
Reconnect with old friends
Eat some, drink some
Laugh a little
Laugh a lot

"Are you going to sing?"
A friend of mine asked the day before
"Nope. I just want to enjoy the evening, you know...
relaaaax for a change."

It was always pressure for me
This whole performing bit
The singing part isn't hard
It's the what-to-say parts
It's the what-to-wear parts
It's the say-hello-to-everybody-or-else parts that just *!$@ the #$!x! out of me

So the simple answer was "No, thank you."

But, see, what I always forget is this:
It's expected of me - I am a singer after all
Therefore it will somehow be asked
My original song is a huge hit again after ten years of being recorded (thanks to Gary and Aiza revivals)
So it's only natural that people would like to hear it again

I realize that I have all the right to say no
No matter how much or how little they ask, plead, coax, cajole, beg
It is still up to me

It's the expectations that kill me
More appropriately, it's the dis*ease to please that kills me

What is expected of me anyway?
To sing. To entertain. To be pleasing.
Please. Sing.
Be pleasing?
What the heck is that?


It came to me the next day.
While washing dishes.
Had I known that doing dishes
Could bring revelations akin to those
Achieved during zen meditation
I would have embraced the chore
Much, much earlier

Here's my big lightbulb moment

(insert drumroll sound byte here)

The big gap lies deep within the core of my being
Deep down inside singing IS a joy
The reason I am uncomfortable about the whole thing
Is because I am trying so hard to control the whole thing

To sing or not to sing?
To be or not to be pleasing?
Who to please?

Ego: Everybody.
Me: Impossible.
Ego: But I want, NEED, to or else I don't want to do it.
Me: So don't do it.
Ego:You know you need to be perfect to do it, right?
Me: Perfect...but I've given up on that utterly senseless task already...
Ego: (teasingly) Oh, have you really...
Me: (pulling hairs out) AAAAAARGHHHHHHH!!!!

(insert blooper sound byte here)

I know. I know. Old story.
I know, too, that it is a Divine gift
This voice, this musicality, my ability to sing like I breathe
It is not mine to keep and be stingy about
Therefore, my job is to simply turn "me" off
And turn the "gift" on whenever the opportunity to share comes along

Ah, self-promotion
Ah, hungry, insatiable, evil monster that lives inside of us

Didn't you say you were ready to turn over your gifts
To a higher power to be used for a higher good?

(insert heavenly chorus sound byte here)

There's your disconnect.

It's no wonder it felt like an ambush.
My mind and my heart were at odds with each other
My mind was orbiting too far in the outer regions called Ego-land
As for my soul,
Ahh, yes.

The Soul knows what's pleasing.
All ways.
Soul ways.

Good old Le Divine Conscience gives me a swift kick in the butt and saves the day.

(insert thunderous applause sound byte here)

Here's my flash of insight:
Deep down inside where the ego can't find me
Is a Knowing
A knowledge of Sounds that truly matter
I know nobody can touch this sacred space
I know it was given to me for a purpose
Better and more powerful than just my ego's horn-tooting

I bow with respect and surrender
And say a prayer of gratitude for the remembrance

Now the real question:
Who was/IS doing all the ambushing in the first place?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...