Originally, I began (and nearly finished) my L-is-for Post on the subject of “light” and how binary-dualistic value judgements from other faiths (like the one my own Canadian culture is saturated with) can find their way into polytheistic brains with much different value-systems in spite of our best efforts to exorcise them or keep them out.
However (a) I’ve talked about that before, and (b) I also just downloaded some free-for-non-commercial-use sound-editing software, so I’m inclined to take a different angle and go from there.
L is for Listening
Maybe it’s just because I crave attention – and, y’know, praise (like any other insecure person) – but I find I’m a lot more likely to Stick With Something if I believe (or can at least pretend) that I have an audience. There is something about shouting into the void – blogging on the internet, using twitter, walking up to Parliament Hill and finding a semi-secluded spot to start singing – that makes it, somehow, easier to just go and do it. Like: You bothered to find/make this space… don’t just let it sit there, kid.
Del – among numerous other people – has talked about Sitting In The Dark, about going on faith and trusting that “you’re not crazy” (or, for that matter, that you’re totally crazy but that this fact of brain chemistry doesn’t make your visions or journeys any less real or true) when you do Experience Things… but also that “you’re not crazy” (or abandoned or fooling yourself) when those Experiences go quiet for a time.
My practice is very head-hand-and-heart (not exactly in the ElfQuest sense, but it works). I’m what’s occasionally referred to as a “cement head” – someone who always has her roots in the ground, and whose head stays pretty shut pretty much all the time. Being a Natural Ground is great. But I feel kind of embarrassed about having to ask for Really Obvious Signs if I’m asking my People for advice. I wonder how much of my feelings about “shouting into the void” are actually because there’s a void that I’m shouting into, versus how much of them are born from my not having much of a receiver, just a mic.
I just started experimenting with that software I downloaded, chatting away at my computer’s mic just to see what I sound like (these days) recorded. It’s not what I remember. My voice gets low – this is what comes of reading porn (and poetry) aloud, fyi – and drops into my chest. I enunciate better than I did. I am marginally less likely to say “um”. Progress!
But I find that I’m also inclined to just noodle around, record myself singing, post it on the “singing blog” (the one that I haven’t written anything in since, like, last October, in spite of the above mentioned caveat to not just letting my spaces Sit There).
And this leads me to ask myself: Who do I think is listening? Who do I think is not listening? I’ve been paying a lot of attention to, it seems, everyone but Maia – my lady of the moon, of writing and music and learning and poetry and healing – of late. Thinking about money, about bottom lines, trying to build/rebuild a relationship with Mattaer that goes beyond a vague awareness that she’s the mother of a daughter in her late teens or early twenties or that she’s the one you talk to if you want to talk about raising kids.
Trying to get comfortable with Mitzu in her role as (“a”, not “the”) Patron Deity of Sex Workers without forgetting the other stuff she handles, too. Riding the various changes and Big Scarries that come into my life (Makaa – and thank you), and remembering to water my plants and pay attention to who’s growing where in the local plant kingdom (Misha). Maia, who was my First and has always been there, is possibly getting lost in the background noise. I miss her. I don’t know how to re-establish that link, although I suspect it has a lot to do with music… which I neglect.
This is the bit where I whine and wring my hands and go “but it’s so haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard”. There is so much shame bound up in trying to start again. Every time I try to open up to it, I clamp down on my own walls because, if I let all that stuff through (meaning out of me and into the wider world) all I’m going to do is cry and cry and cry and then I’ll be useless at everything, rather than at just one thing, and fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
Maybe I feel like she isn’t listening because I’m not giving her anything to listen to?
Why would I record things and put them on a blog when I could just sit (or stand) here in my living room, keep my eyes on her altar, and noodle about vocally without recording it for some imagined posterity?
Fear and shame and dread of rejection, all that stuff that Brene Brown talks about in her TED Talks. She says that one makes connections by being (brave and) vulnerable. That this is where empathy lives. Maybe it’s a way of coming home again, too?
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 A decade+ ago, I saw a U2 interview wherein Bono said something along the lines of “You know you’re a singer when you need three thousand people saying “I love you” to you, every night, in order to feel good about yourself.”
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