a spirit of wonder

As I speak to my students with the voice that has blossomed in me, I speak from the spirit that was healed through song. I see with the eyes of experience. I hear with ears that have heard many voices sing over the past dozen years. And with ears that had to be taught to catch the soft spoken voice within.

For many years I lived my life from the outside in. In many ways I was asleep. I went with the flow of those around me, sure they knew better than me. I needed their approval, without it I felt worthless… so my days were filled with crises, my nights were spent angrily counting up the wrongs done me the day before, imagining what I should of said, and anticipating the problems that would occur the next day. Guilt, worry, frustration and anger were my friends.

If we were to travel back in time to those days, and you asked me what I truly wanted… I don’t think I would have a real answer. I longed for a loving relationship but I pushed people away. I worked hard at my job, was considered to be responsible and efficient and organized… but my personal life was full of broken relationships. I tried many things, signed up for classes and lessons or other activities, but didn’t stay committed to anything. Except theatre. And, eventually, music.

I was hard on the people around me, and even harder on myself. Not that there weren’t some happy things, of course there were. Life is multi-coloured and full of variety. But often, when something good happened, I waited for the axe to fall, sure I’d have to ‘pay’ for anything positive.

But I think back to my childhood, before all the angst. I remember, at 8 years old, being so struck with the beauty of the sky that I cried. I remember looking out my bedroom window at night, amazed at the light of faraway suns that I saw as stars and feeling small in the vastness of the universe. I remember feeling confused by what people said and how it differed from what they did. I remember feeling unsafe and unsure around the meanness that other kids seemed to delight in. And I remember becoming the target of their derision. Perhaps because I was so gentle inside, so frightened of life, so big-eyed in wonder… I was the perfect victim for their ‘Lord of the Flies’ type energies.

So I closed down, over time. I tried to be small in my own way. I built armor around myself. I developed an eating disorder. I longed to be invisible. I read as many books as I could get my hands on to escape from the world. Hundreds of books. Sometimes I’d read a book a day. At 13, I was given a reading comprehension test. I read at the level of a first year university student, 6 years my senior. I was highly intelligent, probably bored in school, socially inept, but more than that, a social outcast. I read historical novels and Harlequin romances, and was often off in my own dreams of knights and warriors and winners. I longed to be strong like Ivanhoe, King Arthur, Merlin, Frodo, Eowyn.

How I would have survived without music, I don’t know. I sang in the school choir and the director was like a second Dad to me. After surviving another day at school I’d come home, go up to my room, and play my guitar. I wrote songs. I sang. I poured my heart out in the words and the music… the only way I felt safe to express what was inside.

After I left school it took me a long long time to dig through the baggage of those years and decide what to keep and what to lose. I’m still in the process in some ways. The spirit of the young girl moved by the beauty of the blueness above is still within me. I try to express that spirit in the words and the melodies I write and produce. I try to open my heart to my students and inspire them to explore their own capacities with wonder, knowing they are always much more capable than they think they are. Just like I was, just like I am, just like you are.

2 comments:

Kathy said...

Wow, this is poignant, thought-provoking and downright as honest as it gets. You are such an inspiration, Vikki. The well within you is still deep with creativity - and always will be as long as you are open to exploring it. Your words speak for so many of us who have felt at odds with society, a society that, in childhood, teaches us to fit in, to not rock the boat, to not follow the beat of our own drums or the desires of our hearts.

You've said it all so eloquently, the way only you - that special person that you are - can. The words come from your heart and lovingly touch the hearts of many.

Life it too short for us not to explore what creativity means to us, and to follow whatever dream(s) that creative drive seeks.

Like many others in your life, Vikki, I am blessed and grateful to know you.

With all my heart,
Kathy

Vikki said...

Thank you for your lovely comment, Kathy. It means so much to know my words touch others...