O, to Sing!

Posted: September 17, 2010 in The Real Me
Tags: , ,

If, as a kid, you never sang your heart out into a hairbrush or other sundry item posing as a microphone, just stop reading. You will not understand anything that I have to say from here on out.

If, as an adult, you don’t occasionally sing your heart out with the radio when no one’s with you, and pretend you’re just as awesome as [insert name of your favorite, amazing singer here], just stop reading. You will not understand anything that I have to say from here on out.

For those of you still with me, there’s a good chance you still won’t understand anything I have to say from here on out, but I’m going for it anyway:

I, Lainie Michelle Gallagher, still frequently pretend that I’m singing to an audience.

There it is. I will use whatever sundry item is nearby as a microphone, and every ounce of me is in performance mode: right down to my toenails. Back in the day, singing and I were made for each other. Having not yet discovered that I liked to write, my art form was music. I had shirts and pencils and notepads and jewelry with music notes and treble clefs all over them. I planned to be a choir director at least, a musical theatre star at most. My voice teacher in junior high envisioned me as an opera singer, though I saw that as much less cool than Broadway. Still, I loved singing, and I loved being on stage.

Problem: in high school, my choir director was kind of a jerk. His auditions for various choirs were completely unfair, and while I did perhaps make the choirs I should have made, I had friends who did not. Second chair all-region, relegated to JV choir. Me — probably a hundred chairs behind her — Varsity.  I was disgusted and quit during my junior year. The director cornered me in the hallway one day and yelled at me about it, and I just walked away. I bawled my eyes out about quitting, but I felt it was the right decision.

I don’t know if I still feel the same way about that decision, but it is what it is.

After that, I could still sing in church. And I joined every choir in every church I ever went to. (I’ve moved a few times; I’m not talking about church-hopping.)  I no longer sing in the choir/on praise team, so I sing at home when I’m alone. I’m out of practice and, since I quit so young, I never got the intensive ear-training I should have. I wander from exactly the right key sometimes, but that’s okay. I’m the only one who can hear me, and I don’t notice it (you know, or it probably wouldn’t happen).

But holy Moses, isn’t singing glorious? There’s something about it that just lays open pure emotion in a way that nothing else can. I can try to describe feelings with words, but it just always falls short. Singing reveals your soul in a way that you could never describe it. If I’m happy, I feel happier. If I’m sad, I’m free to fully feel that sadness. Singing can very easily bring me to tears, but that’s part of what I like about it.

And, it’s just my favorite way to worship Jesus. Then sings my soul, indeed!

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