Quote of the day:
There is no blogging, only writing. Too many of us attempt to straighten this form into a single genre and then feel low when we grow stale. There’s more here than the asynchronous rhythm of post and comment, comment and post … Frank Paynter at Time Goes By
Self expression causes me to lose my voice. Yes. It does. When I was sixteen, at a youth movement seminar, I was overheard singing in the shower. I used to sing all kinds of folk, civil rights and freedom songs. The youth leader wanted me to sing at the concert that concluded our retreat together. But I was terribly, terribly shy and afraid. So he told me to sit with my back to the audience and sing without looking at anyone. I remember it as clearly as if it was today, sitting up on the little stage on a stool with my back to the audience and singing my heart out a cappella for everyone to hear. I was a hit! It was excruciatingly exciting for me, at the time, because most of my young life until then, I had felt invisible. I could not believe that people wanted to hear me. From then on I was asked to sing at all our youth movement functions, and around camp fires late at night. After a short while I was able to face my peers when I sang and was often accompanied by guitar pals. Later I would sing now and then in piano bars or coffee shops and once I even won a talent contest for singing one of my favorite songs: The Dove, and appeared on television in Rhodesia.
But after each time I would sing, and especially if I really, really derived exquisite pleasure from the performance, I woke up the next day as hoarse as could be and, even, sometimes with a sore throat.
I hardly ever sing publicly any more. Ever so seldom when T pulls out his guitar (and he is truly one mean blue grass guitarist), I warble a little and think back to those younger times.
Writing has become an important medium of self expression for me now. Especially blogging. Just as, over forty years ago one summer night when I sat with my back to the audience shyly singing for everyone to hear, nowadays I sit alone hidden away in my study, house silent as could be and type on my blog for everyone, out there somewhere unseen, to read. And now and again, if anyone reads or comments, links or just stops by to find out what I am saying, it feels less invisible and good to be heard.
Very often, after I have enjoyed writing a piece, or felt it was a deep expression of my self, I discover that I have become hoarse, as if I had been singing. I remember writing about that back in March, 2005.
Freedom of expression without punishment has always been an important political, social justice issue for me no matter which country I have lived in. After years of self-observation and reflection, I understand how it connects with me personally and psychologically. For, time and again, I have experienced the pain of punishment and exclusion (even recently) for saying how I feel. And so now, I embrace the hoarseness, as my way of self punishment for self expression, and yet, at the same time, as a way of having the courage to find my voice again and again.
A year ago at Mining Nuggets: The voyage was bon, bon, bon