Yesterday, I took my monthly trek to my voice lesson in Pennsylvania. It's a drive that I have come to really look forward to because of its un-congested roads, and the serene sort of novelty of Amish country, all of which contribute greatly to my being able to refocus my attention in preparation for an intense hour plus of singing.
I have to say, when Joe decided to renew our Sirius/XM radio in our cars after the free trial had expired, I thought it a bit frivolous. But NFL radio is pretty important for a football fan who drives A LOT for work, and if it's worth it to him, hey. But I think I am starting to become a little addicted myself...Metropolitan Opera Radio doesn't suck, neither does Martha Stewart Radio, and I have to say Oprah Radio is REALLY great. Between Deepak Chopra, Maya Angelou and Gayle King, I am loving driving places more than ever before.
Yesterday, Oprah was on with Geneen Roth, the author of a book I haven't read yet, called "Women, Food, and God." It was such a great forty minutes of my day-- it made me stop and think.
I've spent a lot of time this summer getting things done, taking Ibuprofen (wisdom teeth), checking things off lists, practicing, planning, preparing. But as I listened to the radio in the car yesterday, tears came to my eyes as I thought about how little time I had spent in a spiritual pursuit, spending time with the real me, the me that is always there, undamaged by childhood pain, untouched by situations, circumstances, drama, the me that is part of the Source of everything, the part of me that I can never do anything to get, and can therefore never lose. God.
The problem is really that that disconnection from that essential me creates a vacuum that tries to suck in other things to fill the hole. Situations and people and phrases that never bothered you before, suddenly really get on your nerves, you need more dresses, more pedicures, more therapy, more wine, more food, more everything. Things to make you feel okay.
No, I have not gone nuts with any of the above. No, I am not checking myself into the Betty. No, I will not be on the next flight to India to report to an ashram for a month of meditation. If any of my friends are reading this, they know that I have not been significantly more nuts than usual. But I just realized yesterday that if the Source of all life was trying to tell me something, I probably wouldn't have heard her. It might have taken him a little longer to get through.
Starting to today, I'm listening, I'm watching for signs. I will open my eyes when I walk down the street, I will notice the divinity in the very frustrating bits of recit I'm trying to pound into my head. I will remind myself to BE wherever I am.
And speaking of divine goddess hood, another thing that was on the radio last night was the 1982 recording of the Verdi Requiem with Leontyne Price. Amidst lots of imperfections, and some out of tune singing, there are bits of chilling holiness, moments when you KNOW there is a God. And that perfection is not the name of his game. Actually, I am convinced she is not very interested in it at all.
As a singer, isn't that what I want? To be the voice that brings that MOMENT to an audience. The moment that gives them chills and they never forget as long as they live? Is it really just that we have to be genius singers who have a perfect grasp of theater, technique, language, etc., etc., or could it be that it has a lot to do with taking our egos out of the equation, getting out of the way, creating space for that divinity to come alive in what we do?