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Let those caged words sing

Article by Enda Sheppard © 27 September 2017 .
Posted in the Members' Blog ( ).

I sing out loud sometimes to stave off the solitude of mere reflection. The odd time I find myself in an exalted communion, even when I am just singing to myself. How good my song will sound to others, in time, only they can tell. That’s audiences for you.

Writing, for me, is like singing, and writing to be read like singing to an audience; writing out loud, if you will.

As I write, the only audible sound is the rapid fluttering of digits on a keyboard, pressing home my frantic words letter by letter. But that’s not what I “hear”.

Sometimes my singing is flat and dull and ponderous, and my fists curl and my nails dig into my palms as I reach for notes that aren’t there. But still I sing.

Once in a very blue moon, my voice sweetly soars to heaven’s highest vaults and I am no longer singing, I am communicating. The heavens answer, my words are read, they mean something to somebody, and all is good. I’ve got rhythm!

But mostly, I just sing.

As I write, I occasionally experience a feeling of being both receiver and transmitter.

Time is no longer a tyranny as I work away, voice and fingers in seamless synchronicity as they fire out letters on to my computer screen that swiftly coalesce into words; hurtling words that recklessly break off into sentences, paragraphs and stories.

All the editing and refinement can come later, when I will work the ore that has come from the depths beneath my own surface. I will claw away the cloying sediment and chisel and chip, and chip and chisel, hoping there is something I can eventually polish and hold up to the harsh light of the other’s scrutiny.

This singing voice that cracks the circular silence of normal circumspection shares more than it would ever care to reveal, giving presence and substance to those things it can never quite conceal.

Singing out loud, I often feel charged with the pulsating passion of just being. Until I think about it.

Letting those caged words sing, my unshackled spirit is given a voice that reaches far beyond the captured sentiments of my scripted words. However elegant these enunciations and elucidations, they are representations; mere words; the singing transforms them, gives them body and, yes, soul.

The voice in my head, more usually, does not sing, nor does it seek to shape those experiences it both articulates and distorts. Without meaning to, because it does not mean to provide meaning.

This unreliable narrator guards me from the darker reaches of my own interior landscape, as we glide through the well-visited yet uncharted caverns of experience. Words old and new flutter like autumn leaves to the ground all around me, subsumed into the febrile forest of reverie and reincarnation, of remembrance and regret.

Beneath the surface layer of prosaic words lie the primordial precursors of language and expressible thought, sensations barely recalled but never forgotten.

To think that out of all this can come a song. And me the singer to sing it, if I can only let my voice go free.

So, fellow singers, what can we do, but keep on singing.

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