The song has left the bird

It must be confession week around here. Meh, I do know of certain religions (none of which are banging down my door to join them, go figure?) who believe that confession is good for the soul. Who am I to argue? Onward.

Music lessons. So many lessons. Singing. Choir. Piano. Guitar. Recorder. Violin. Ukulele. Tenor Recorder. Practicing. School concerts. Daydreams of bigger (or even real) venues. These words and moments hold a significant market share of my childhood memories. I loved music. I felt as though music, all music, was the fibre that bound my being together and held me together. I felt that music lived deep inside me and gave me the beauty that I otherwise felt lacking when I looked in the mirror. Loved is stating it mildly. Beyond even the penny candy selection at Tony’s variety store (which, as ‘the fat girl,’ evidence suggested that I loved that selection a very whole much a lot), I loved singing. I sang all the time. I was the first one to hit the carpet when it was music time in class. I sang on my walk (dawdle, really) to school and home again after school. I sang myself to sleep most night. I sang everywhere and always.

And then, my high school years ended, and with them my organized, formal opportunities to sing were over. Oh, I still sang in the car, sang my baby boy to sleep, while bathing him or pushing him on the swing, sang while moving around the house, always sang, but it was never the same. And it was never something that I thought that I would not always be able to do. But, I was wrong.

Use it or lose it. Heartbreaking to admit but the saying is true. I never believed it. Call it naivety or arrogance or oblivion, it matters not as in the end, it happened to me. I can no longer reach the end of the upper register. My voice gives out when pushed to hit those higher notes. It has lost its smoothness and strength. And although no one knows or cares, it sucks beyond words to admit these losses.

I had talent. I didn’t have the confidence or drive to go further. I wasted the talent I had, I took it for granted, I did not nurture it or appreciate it and it left me. Interesting life lesson here, no?

And now? I still sing for my kids, I still make up songs with their names or to make them laugh, but underneath the laughter, the song has left the bird.

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