I don’t usually talk about this in my writing but I am a singer. I have a fantastic band (SoulFusion) and the music we make is absolutely amazing. I have the joy of being surrounded by some of the finest musicians you could ever hope for, and together we are quite a force of nature ~ literally.
I don’t say this to ring my bell but it’s a fact. We all five have something, very unique and powerfully soul driven when we know to get out of its way. Something we know in outr own way that was given to us as a creative power to express our innermost selves. This inner expression can surpass words. This is the ultimate gift of the creative self; to give everyone the ability to communicate beyond the limitations of our words. We can see how important this is becoming today since we have begun to learn things at an insanely fast rate and in some cases we don’t even have the linguistic vernacular to describe what we are newly experiencing or learning. Music in particular tends to attract a rather extroverted passionate bunch. Interestingly enough, many of the musicians that I know are quite shy off stage. But on stage you cold set off a bomb and they wouldn’t flinch. When I sing I feel like my soul is bigger than my self. It’s as though time stands still and I am completely and literally “in my element”. That’s because I am lucky enough to have discovered the gift I was given. But I truly believe every single person has a gift, and one of the essential purposes of life is to find it and use it.
Saturday was a night like this. The band hadn’t played together in a while, and as we say, all of us were pent up. It was a real treat for me…you simply can’t screw up with a bunch of guys like that behind you, so you relax – and that’s exactly what I did. I began to experience miracle after miracle as the night went on. And I don’t mean “little interpretive” miracles, but great big obvious ones that shake your foundations.
First off, I had lost my voice from the previous two nights singing. I knew I was being a moron, but I just had been through so much since last August when I had stopped singing because my mother was diagnosed with cancer; we began playing again after she was in remission, and this was our frist gig. I literally let loose and COMPLETELY LOST my voice. By the fourth set (it was a long hard night) I was so exhausted, I could barely make it to the car. I cried all day saturday (that’s a real treat for your voice to – not) and at home I tried everything to regain my voice for this show, but came up hopelessly laryngitic (if that’s even a word!). OK…I was “blowing air” as we say in the live music business. And it was two hours before show time. I was dead.
So I did what every good recovering Catholic would do in a snap reaction to a stressful situation. I jumped into a long hot bath and prayed. It isn’t a religious thing with me, it was an “I’m scared because I’m about to make a fool out of myself” thing, and God was my last resort. Wow do I have things upside down sometimes. At any rate, I went at it honestly”
“God…I know you don’t take special requests but if you would just give me a little hand here, I really need my voice back. I am looking for a real miracle tonight”
“And if you can;pt do that (I figured too big and obvious)_ then just cancel the bloody gig.” i was really at a loss.
“Give me an idea…how do I get over this I’m ok with footwork, just tell me where!”.
Then came my part in this prayer deal…I had to actually LET IT GO. I had NO CHOICE. I had to TRUST that when I needed it, the thing God gave me would just be there. Wow..that was like jumping off a cliff, but it was allot less work and really allot less gross than gargling with luke warm sweet jasmine tea. That was one of six, but definitely my worse idea of curing Laryngitis. I had to give it all up. It was a very freeing feeling and not as exhausting as trying and trying to fix it always coming up with no result. I had topped steaming, breathing, meditating, praying…nothing. I just knew I had to assume that this had already worked and that when I needed my voice it would be there. And that if i did show up with no voice, I would handle it as best as I could and deal with it. I settled on ok with any scenario. Acceptance.
Then I remembered Janis used tequila. I hate tequila. Ask my husband; it’s his greatest disappointment that I won’t drink tequila with him. It tastes like gasoline and I don’t like it. But, in that bathtub I had a sudden and clear thought to take a couple of shots of tequila. It was the craziest notion and really the total opposite of what is recommended in the case of laryngitis. In fact every doctor or specialist alive will tell you never to drink anything that dehydrates you, like caffeine or alcohol when you have lost your voice. But there I was, wrapped in a towel, now clearly insane, my wet hair sticking to my face and shoulder and freezing cold in our old farmhouse. I leaped into the kitchen startling my worried husband and declared – we need tequila!
“Really?” was all he said as he poured two shots.
He set em up and we took and shot. I pinched my nose. It wasn’t so bad so I had a second and finally and third before we left. I was in a pretty fine mood by the time we got to the gig and I had to meet up with band. We had a start time of about 45 minutes after I arrived so we had time to set up our instruments, but we never really talked. I could sense a real anticipation that night, and I was happily surprised that everyone’s wasn’t more exhausted from the past night. We aren’t 20 anymore ya know.
On the stage we had a replacement bass player, someone we had welcomed back into our lives after not having seen him for a really long time. We had some really great gigs in the past and so because we were all old friends there was no discomfort, no wondering about styles or whatever – it was like a big happy reunion on stage. And frankly, we could have given a shit if there was an audience there or not because by the second set, following an insanely slow 14 song first set, as requested by the owners (they had dinner clients who thought Highway to hell was a bit much to compliment their steak and wine…imagine that? :)) we were chomping at the bit like a bunch of overfed Kentucky Derby racehorses. We were “rarin to go” and wow…did we go.
I told Shawn, my guitar player that I had never felt so absolutely EXCITED to play music. This next set, I told him, would be extraordinary. Just you wait and see. He smiled and looked a little concerned.
First we blew Ramble On by Led Zeppelin out of the water, and I don’t remember what the second song was supposed to be (I never stick to the set list ) but I know I had this sudden urge to play Move Over by Janis – I mean…I spun on my heel and gave dave the drummer a steely glare…
“Move Over” and I smiled. It was a really cool moment between two people who love the rhythm of the music the most. We are both big followers and students of African drumming and so he understood I think what kind of power I was wanting to generate with that song.
The audience went immediately bananas when he hit the bass drum after only two solid “whacks”. I started to sing and there was this moment where the song just went all perfect,, in this great cohesion. We were all at our PEAK of whatever it is we were doing. Me singing, John on guitar, dave on drums. Then, the most incredible strange and weird thing that I have ever in 30 years of singing seen…and I swear I am not lying I have 50 witnesses;
My glass exploded.
My water-glass, which was a beer glass with water sitting on my djembe blew up. Exploded. Shattered from inside to out. Glass was everywhere, and ironically, I had been reading Janis’s biography Buried Alive and decided (abnormally) to take my shoes off and let my “Janis” all hang out. Which apparently attracted quite an energy. No one was injured 🙂
But I noticed things. First, we didnt miss a beat and the audience really likes that kind of stuff. Second, my body moved with ease which was amazing because I had just come 36 hours previously from a horrible back injury where I hardly walked in 6 days. When I wasn’t singing, I felt the pain return.
I don’t know what it was that happened, but we all felt something big; bigger than us, but somehow coming from and as a result of he music we were making. I think it simply came from the fact that at that moment, we were all our most HAPPY. We were in our elements, as they say, quite literally. Where your creative spiritual self aligns itself with the intention of the universe for your highest understanding. Simply put, it’s a tremendous sign that you are doing what the calling of your soul guides you too. It takes some kind of courage to listen to it though.
This experience had a very profound effect on me. It really has shown me the incredible importance of the inner journey to find your creative center. This is our most important task.
Can you imagine the energy of the planet if everyone were doing what they most loved in life?
I know it sounds impossible now, almost ridiculous, but really…IMAGINE IT – Because NOTHING is possible, until we can imagine it.