Some of you know that I was a vocal music and music theater major at the School of the Creative and Performing Arts. I was there from 7th -12th grade. I had grown up in my grandfather’s church singing in the choir for as long as I could remember. I guess this came through in my audition.
The teacher at this school expected excellence from us so we expected excellence from ourselves. Because of this it wasn’t uncommon to walk pass students singing or practicing their line for a play as you walked through the hallways. But my favorite place to go early in the morning before most people arrived was the Fine Arts Library. It was right next to the regular library. It had doors to close off from the library and the main hallway.There were always beautiful art hanging around the perimeter of the room which made it an even lovelier place to be.
As a teenager I was living in a house with my step-father, my perpetrator. I had went to court, testified, and he was sentenced to 90 days to be served on weekends so that he could go to work during the week. So we lived together during the week and he went to jail on the weekends.
The Fine Arts Library became a place that I could escape my home and sing. Walking around this room, singing made me feel like flying. Singing transported me. I was transported to Italy by the classical Italian music that I sang. I was transported to other lives, other person through music theater. Music had the ability to take me anywhere and everywhere when where I was was too hard to be.
Over the years as my life has changed I have mostly stopped singing. But recently I started voice work with my dear sister/friend Barbara McAfee. While meeting in this way for the first time she said something that is traveling with me, seeping into my bones. She said, “You used music as escape, now let’s use it as return.” YES! Since that call with her I have been listening and singing along with some music she sent to me and it has been calling me home. It has been calling me back into myself. It has made me laugh, cry, dance, and scream.
I am now singing to return.