The sacred wound of the voice.
The other day I was in the local library with Adrian, and I discovered the book, The Lost Words, by Robert MacFarlane.
It’s a poetic-artistic-literary response to the decision of some editor somewhere in the UK to remove a few certain words from a popular children’s dictionary.
Words like “acorn” and “wren” and “dandelion.”
The WTF-factor sparked a movement of “re-wilding,” a term I first encountered in the dark days of the pandemic when I was scouring the internet for ideas, inadvertently thrust into the role of “homeschooler.” (#shudder)
During that same wild time I also took to the outdoors with my preschooler, taking daily nature walks in the very lovely woods that led, quite literally, from my back door.
The “wilds” of the suburban trails of Silver Spring, Maryland were quite an important place for us. Going out (almost) everyday, for at least one year, awakened a perception in me that had long gone dormant.
These meanderings re-aligned me (us?) with the rhythm of the seasons, the patterns of growth and decay, the plethora of fungi who had very specific climate preferences, the trees and flowers and plants, all coming and going in their own way, and of course the wildlife, sparking our excitement anytime we saw a flurry or rummaging in the brush or the branches.
Haha, not to mention Adrian’s little child sounds of abandon that completely disturbed every form of wildlife within a fifty-foot radius. (#ohwell)
I suppose this was my own version of re-wilding, but I wouldn’t call it that. I didn’t feel wild at all. In fact, my re-connection to the “wild” of the natural world was really a homecoming to a place within that was incredibly peaceful, at home, kinder, and full of enthusiasm for life itself.
It was sheer wonder of the miracle of life, and my privilege to be living one, even amongst the utter chaos of the “outer” world.
Nature is an obvious kind of medicine. And yet, we still, as a species, tend to hang out inside the castle of our minds.
The same goes for our decision-making, creativity, art-making, and singing. There are micro-movements of “re-wilding” and “de-conditioning,” which I have witnessed and integrated and taught myself.
The tune I have been singing for several years now about has been primarily about the reconnection of our voice to something greater. My work on the sacred voice underwrites the mystical relationship of the voice with the higher self and the Creator, an approach brought down to earth in our practice and performance.
But for some time I have perceived and considered a kind of nagging. A possession of unsettledness. A disconnect. Still.
I want to share the insight I received, thunderstruck by the revelation.
I had been working through some repertoire, and kept noticing how all I could think about was me, me, me. I felt so… alone. I wanted other people. Some safety net, some help, some collaboration. I felt as though I were swimming upstream, no flow in sight.
And I then had a vision of sorts. More like a remembering of Hildegard’s celestial choir, the Symphony of Heaven, the angels who, I surmise, are singing Gloria in excelsis Deo.
I chose, then and there, to weave myself into this tapestry, this unseen ecosystem. I sensed the me-ness of my thoughts fly out of the room, replaced with this sensual, delightful flow. It was… miraculous.
And in a moment, this experience of interconnectedness completely relieved any and all suffering surrounding my voice, my singing, and my performance. It was a healing.
Suffering is a symptom of the mind. Struggle is a state of being in which our personal selection of thoughts disconnect us from the Flow of Life. We have been conditioned from our very first breath that we are separated from God and All That Is, the core wound of humanity.
Every great spiritual tradition provides a pathway back into this state of union, a mystical (and sometimes mythical) state of Oneness.
Then why, my friend, do we insist on carrying this sacred wound of the Voice? That we are isolated, cut off, an island of trying to figure it out on our own, making sure that we are Doing Ok and Measuring Up?
The sacred wound is the illusion that we are separated from the Flow of Life. The sacred medicine is to reclaim our connection. To dissolve the border of me and Me.
What happens when you let go of laboring for ok-ness, doing enough to get by, fit in, keep going? What happens, instead, when you stop worrying, stressing, suffering?
What happens when you stop trying to solve problems, and instead delight in the truth that there is a personal purpose for your unique, imperfect voice?
Because beyond suffering is your truth. It is radical acceptance. It is new life with your voice. No matter who you are, how old you are, or what you sound like.
Undervalued vocabulary, like “otter” and “bluebell,” is an outgrowth of our indifference to humanity’s plight, affecting the wider world around us.
Indifference to our own suffering will only prolong the effects of the initial wound: that our voice is separate from Nature, Creation, and the Creator.
So come back into the fold, and settle into the supernal harmony, which pulses with the heartbeat of the Universe. We simply can never be separate from that. The wound is the illusion that we are.
Think of your singing like taking a nature walk: blend into the background, take deliberately soft steps, be at one with Nature, heart open, and spirit aloft.
Wonder your way back home into its wild perfection.