Next week I begin recording vocals. Wow. The moment is finally here..!
The songs for my new album are now clicked shut in terms of lyrics and production, and I feel confident that I have created a record that looks and sounds like me from top to bottom. It expresses all those things that I’ve wanted to, and am ready to express at this point in my life. To be able to say that means a lot. It’s taken a great deal of opening up on my part to be able to trust myself and to trust my musical partner enough to let the recording process unfold organically. In a word: surrender.
Surrender. Such a strong word… And yet I feel like all of my life is surrender these days. Accepting all those things that I’ve been unable to accept before. I’ve had a compulsive need to control everything; I’ve been judgmental, critical of myself and others, and afraid of other people’s perceptions. So much so, that it’s been hard to even sit still and listen to what’s going on inside of me. I say this in a moment of clarity–which will pass, I’m sure–but right now I don’t care what anyone else thinks about who I am or what I do. It’s enough for me to be proud of it.
A couple of weeks ago I was diagnosed with ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder. I had a number of different tests done, to rule out other things, and to confirm the diagnosis, and now I’m settling to this new knowledge of myself. After a lifetime of struggle and stress with my symptoms, I am actually relieved to finally understand what’s been going on with my brain. And don’t get me wrong: I love my brain. It’s just that I haven’t known the best way to navigate it until today. Now I am learning, and surrendering.
Surrendering is not being helpless. It simply means that I’m powerless over certain things in my life. The trick is knowing which things are actually in my hands…. For me it means giving myself to the flow of life, challenges and all. Also, it means not gripping and grasping, holding on for dear life to those things that are ephemeral. I can handle the realities of my life now. I don’t want to have illusions of myself–I want to know the truth. All of it.
So next week, I will sing my fucking heart out. I will sing with surrender and abandon. All of the pain and joy of the last few years; all of my memories; all of my struggles and triumphs; all diagnoses, deaths and rebirths now color my voice, and I’m thrilled to hear what that sounds like. Us people are complex, layered, full of contradictions and surprises… And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In the immortal words of one of my favorite artists, Jesca Hoop:
“I’m not a bird, I’m a murder of birds.”
(To clarify: Murder of birds means A flock of crows.)