What would you do if I sang out of tune…
I have a terrible singing voice. For many, many years, I mouthed the words to Happy Birthday, I hummed the hymns in church, and I only ever felt comfortable crooning while driving– alone, of course– in my car. But even though I’ve never had amy musical talent to speak of, I’ve always revered those who do–and I spent much of my growing-up time listening to, appreciating, and emulating the artists that inspired me. By the time I was four, I could name any tune my dad whistled; in high school, I mastered the art of the perfectly angsty mix tape. I credit Sarah McLachlan’s Surfacing with helping me through a particularly rough couple of years, and I knew–really knew– that Dmitri was the one when he surprised me with tickets to see Ray Lamontagne at the Paramount back in 2006.
For the last year or so, however, quiet time has trumped all noise. My treadmill runs, once fueled by astonishingly raunchy hip-hop (or astonishingly cheesy ’80’s ballads), started to provide the only silent reflection time I had all day, and I started opting for NPR during my loooong drives into town. But Lily’s ever-growing awareness of the myriad of sounds surrounding her– and her charming habit of head-banging like a Metallica fan whenever she hears a tune she likes–has really shifted something for me.
So after many months without–many blessed, sort-of-quiet months– I am rediscovering music. And I’m recognizing that all of it–the ultra-catchy kid stuff, and the rock and roll that Dmitri favors, and the omnipresent pop songs (thank you, Katy Perry–“Lily is a fiiiiirework” is our current anthem), and even my really terrible renditions of Journey’s Faithfully and Raffi’s Baby Beluga–have their place and their purpose. So these days, I sing all of the time–in the car, in the bathtub, in the grocery store–and I do so with much less concern about what those around me are thinking than I ever could have before. I’m simply grateful to know that, even when I butcher the lyrics or sing off key, I still get to contribute–in a very small way, of course– to the never-and-always-perfect soundtrack that’s always playing, whether we choose to listen or not.