Song Of The World
In the neighborhood near where I grew up there were always boys who would drive slowly through the city in the summer with their windows open and their music playing loud enough that you could feel the bass line reverberating in your chest from where you stood on the street corner. You might have wondered what it felt like to be in that car instead of on the corner, but you would have been wise not to look their way in your wondering, for these boys would from time to time glare out of their open windows and you didn’t want to accidentally make eye contact and be mistaken for someone disapproving of their taste in music, no matter the truth of it. It was tempting to judge these boys and this game of chicken they seemed to be playing with their music, if I hadn’t been asked often by my family to turn my own music down. The music I loved couldn’t possibly be loud enough. When I found a song I loved I wished I was an animated character whose body could dissolve into musical notes, that I wouldn’t have to merely hear a song but could actually live it, could toss my own life aside for the one I perceived within the chords and chorus of the song.
This is what happens when you cannot yet hear your own song. You find someone else’s and wish it was yours, and no matter how close it sounds to your own, no matter how loudly you play it, it cannot replace what you crave to hear. Moreover, what if no one else likes your song? Maybe you test the world with a song as you imagined you might sing. Maybe you play it loud enough for the whole neighborhood and glare out your window at all those people you believe wish to silence you.
I have never been so quiet as the moment I first heard myself clearly. Best not to speak then so as not to miss a word. Best to get still, for your wandering is over anyhow, the search ending in the same silence you once feared.
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