Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Singing at the Top of My Lungs

O, she will sing the savageness out of a bear! ~William Shakespeare

Sometimes it feels like there's a small girl in me, a small me in me, full of terror, and she's screaming at the top of her lungs, her eyes wide and trembling. But sometimes someone holds the body the small girl lives inside, holds my body, and rocks me with his words, as if words were a sling, and the little one is eased out, as if on a small parachute from a rickety plane, into the sun, into a field of suns, of sunflowers reaching high above her head and full of the promise of dark yellow and food, and she lifts her head to the sky and the screams become song. Once, I heard a child crying, and as he was crying he was running lightly down an alleyway out my window. I couldn't see him, I could only hear his voice and his small feet moving his body down towards, I guess, home. As he ran, each step interrupted the crying, the wails, and soon he started to notice his voice and he started, instead of crying, playing with his voice, the way it could go up and down the notes, like a ladder, and he could start and stop his voice at will and his crying became song, like water. And the little girl inside me lifts her face to the sky and her open mouth spouts out song instead of screams and the song is a fountain that falls at the feet of the sunflowers, watering them as if with much-needed rain, shaking them at their feet, and as they shake, their seeds rattle, and I'm singing to the rhythm of the sunflowers--loud enough for the whole sky to hear me, loud enough to reach the sun, whose life-giving attention I so desperately need.

Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing anyway. ~Emory Austin

I don't sing because I'm happy; I'm happy because I sing. ~William James

God respects me when I work; but God loves me when I sing. ~Rabindranath Tagore

As long as we live, there is never enough singing. ~Martin Luther

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