Now a voice is not the same as a person–it is an manifestation of that person–perhaps it can be thought of as the voice of that individual in her purest form. The form that is raised by wolves, that has no baggage, that is fearless. That is where a true voice would come from.
Unfortunately, most of us come with loads of–all kinds of crazy–make The Corrections look like a novel about the Beavers–baggage. So this process is always going to be two steps forward one step back. You will get knocked down even by the ones who love you most, as well as through your own demons trip and fall. It is a long journey and you must remember to be along for the ride. Always be thinking big picture.
Pretend your life is a story or a movie–you are the main character, the leading role. What do you want that narrative to be? I dare you to take a moment to image the story of your life unfolding in just the way that would make you the most happy, the most joyful.
The answer is your voice.
And now for another question.What would your voice’s art look like? What would be your medium of expression–song? word? paint? There isn’t a right or wrong here.
Perhaps your voice is strong and quiet like Agnes Martin’s.
Or over the top and a little squeaky like Cyndi Lauper’s.
Or incredibly seductive and full of amazing curves like Sophia Loren’s.
I must say I have never spent a lot of time contemplating what my voice is–it is what is inside of me and my only chore is to get out of her way–be the body that does the work of the voice.
I do sometimes feel self-conscious about my voice–think that it might be inferior to artists who are doing, say, installation or conceptual art. They are so now, and I am so then.
But its my voice–changing it would mean that it was some one else’s voice. Maybe in another life, I will be a cerebral or BIG artist. But in this life, I stitch things for the wall and for the body. And this is good.
Thinking about this always reminds me of the song, “This little Light of Mine.”
Get out from under the bushel. Let It Shine. Let it Shine.
Easier said than done, right?
Maybe this will help. I invite you to take a moment to listen to one of my favorite singers Odetta. She starts the song with some very good words to live by.
Just a little food for thought on this sunny Friday.