Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Collective Energy

One of my 'best things' to do is sing with the One Human Family Gospel Choir . On Saturday night we performed at a beautiful old stone church - with lovely stained glass windows - called the Peace Centre. And it was full to bursting!

To be a part of a beautiful collective voice never ceases to fill my heart - and cover me with goose bumps. Alone my singing is pretty ordinary and it's a real challenge (after ABI) to sing in tune, remember the notes and the words and the timing, stand for a couple of hours, clap, dance, smile... I worry every time that I won't be able to do it.

But after the first few bars of music, energy from the whole choir runs through me. I am transcended somewhere special and for those precious hours I am no longer confined by my abilities alone or by my body. Alone, my voice was broken. Yet with some practice and as part of this incredible choir I am whole again - at least for that time. I am grateful for such an amazing gift.

It wasn't always this way. As a young girl I sang with my school choir and even sang one of the solo parts of Silent Night at Christchurch in England. Then my head injury damaged the part of the brain that governs the voice (along with many other parts) and I could never guarantee or control my pitch or tone - even in speech. I was sad to think that I would ever sing again...

My lovely friend Carolyn encouraged me for 2 whole years to join her choir - and when I eventually went, she was away! That first night I was terrified. Another good friend, Dominic, accompanied me and I tried several sections of the choir to try and find where I fit. Eventually I found the alto section. I struggled for weeks to remember the words and to try and learn how to use my voice again. Instinctively I knew how important it was for me. New friends with strong, clear voices stood around me and gradually I found my way - thank you Laurie...

ReBuilding yourself is a journey - actually more like a pilgrimage... So why not build it into something you enjoy and love? Singing is fabulous exercise - it challenges you and your brain in so many different ways. I can imagine hundreds of tiny, threadlike new pathways being formed in my brain every time I open my mouth!

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