Over the years we sing at bushdances, eisteddfods, school celebrations. I love it, the rise of voices together, the strength and belonging in it, my skin tingling as we sing.
Highlights include singing with Kamahl circa 1987 and a deep love for Peter Combe.
High school appears and it is soon apparent that any form of trying too hard is a social discrepancy so singing out loud is not a good idea. Very quickly my voice closes off, except for those precious times when I play my cds, alone in my room, loud and sing along. Hearing my feelings, my confusion, my angst in music.
I get older. Music is everywhere and I still lose myself in it, adding to the soundtrack of my life as time moves forward.
I sing with the crowds at concerts, still quietly, still afraid to lift it up, to be heard.
Occasionally I go to church, just to sing. Softly.
I'll keep the car windows up, duetting like a queen with the stereo.
At parties where people sing, I join in, lightly. My throat and stomach still afraid to let it out.
We drink, we laugh, we dance. Remember our old selves through song and sometimes find our new selves.
My friend and I join a choir. We are sporadic attendees and don't offer much in terms of voice or music knowledge, but we do contribute to a tasty shared supper and provide some light entertainment.
We gradually get braver, voice wise and occasionally I feel myself lost in a song, my chest rising, losing my space and finding it within the room of voices, singing, together. I’m never quite in tune but I offer sound with spirit - my song.
I attend my childs primary school assemblies and shoulders back sing the national anthem with quiet confidence. Still not in tune but nobody seems to mind, they almost seem relieved that their own voices can blend in quietly behind mine.
I'm at a party and we start to sing, no backing music, just two of us and soon enough more people join in and we are having a beautiful moment, singing songs, together. Again, not quite in tune but filled with companionship.
To sing a song together brings joy, connection, a lightness. Funny how the things that should be easy, that offer such remedy, are the things that we can be most scared of, the things we are afraid people will judge us for.
So I remind myself. Sing a song. Abandon yourself to the moment. Let people bear witness to the child in you that loved to sing. Open your throat and let it out.