Tuesday October 9, 2007
On Saturday, hubby and I pulled out the guitars, plugged in the amps and took the recording equipment out for a spin. One of the songs we worked on is a long-time favorite. Wild Horses by the Rolling Stones. I memorized that song back when I was nineteen and have played it ever since. Love it, love it, love it. Except for one pesky little detail. Singing in the key of G.
Now I could transpose the chords or slap on a capo but for the accompanying lead guitarist, that’s a pain in the arse. And the depth and richness of the song is compromised. At least to me.
Then a few days earlier, we’d been listening to a rare version of the song and something about the way Mick sang reverberated inside my soul. I just *knew*. And I had to try again. So after hubby patiently arranged the microphones just so, and we ran through the chord changes a couple of times, we gave it a go.
The first verse came out in that wobbly squeak of an adolescent boy that signals my inability to Find My Note. Yet when the chorus came around, I tapped in. Faltering at first, but I could *feel* that note somewhere deep within my bones. When the second verse rolled around, I held it, astonished to hear myself singing in this impossible key. What a wild rush. Yet… Could I hold it?
The exhilaration would grab me, I’d get caught up in a wave of pure pleasure hearing myself sing. Up until that fateful moment when I realized what I was doing… At which point, my voice would wobble and squeak and I’d come crashing to the ground.
The process fascinated me. Every time I let my thoughts wander over to an observation of my actions, I’d lose the focus. I’m reminded sharply of the old cartoons where Wile E. Coyote would race off the cliff, his legs windmilling wildly. His nimble feet would carry him several feet into the air until a tiny pinprick of awareness would nip his consciousness and with eyes widening in realization, he’d glance down. Ooops! CRASH!
Life requires a certain amount of faith. Perhaps it’s most obvious in performance mode (or while chasing a nimble Road Runner), yet it’s clear that this axiom serves throughout every aspect of our existence. I know that when I’m typing, if I stop to think about it my speed will slow. I’ll become self-conscious, wondering if I really know what I’m doing. And that last sentence is really the crux of the matter. While most of us (whether deliberately or not) work towards a measure of self-awareness, we also must step away from being self-conscious. Meaning, that we learn to not second-guess each decision or micromanage every step of our life. Which isn’t always easy.
What I realized during the course of the night is that even the most impossible task can be accomplished if you tune in just right. Not to say that one can bypass the effort required to move past the blocks, to learn the chords, to understand the process of plotting, to delve into the particulars of mixing colors on a palette, or to distinguish an intrusive weed from your soon-to-be-blossoming creation.
Yet one thing remains clear. It is that initial “tuning in” process that carries us through. Whatever you dream, whatever you yearn for, it can be done. You just have to Find Your Note.