“But oooooh, Mama…if you had followed your dream, you would have been a star. A voice like aged wine. Pulling up that passion. Where did it go, Mama? The world would’ve loved your melodies. I might not have been your daughter, but I would have bought your records.” Egyirba High, “Odyssey”
I always wanted to be a singer–well, and an actress–and a writer. I felt the push from within to express through one of these vehicles. From the earliest times I can remember, I was working my creativity through one or the other of these channels of expression. I had to express. I didn’t really understand it, or know why, I just had to. In fact, it had never occurred to me then, that there was anything other than that very present urge to express. It would be many, many years later that I would even get an inkling, or think of that impetus to create as a divine edict from within.
In my pre-adolescent years I staged little musical performances with my two sisters as my backup singers, and put on one-girl shows to whatever audiences I could conjure. My parents were always properly amused and watched my performances with a kind of admiration. Renditions of The Marvelettes, “Don’t Mess With Bill,” or Jimmy Ruffin’s “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?” were sure favorites.
Those were also the days of school book fairs and I could hardly wait for that time of year when mama would let me order as many books as I wanted to read. They were fodder for my writing. I realized that writing was a ‘thing’ and I could do it! I used to write in those little stitched notebooks that 1960s classrooms required. They were a tannish color with black binding which was stitched with thread. I filled many of those notebooks with the most delightful stories my imagination could conjure. Those days found me pumping out little stories in the manner of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series by the basket full. It seemed I always had something important to say. And it was so fun and so necessary.
Or, Does It Explode?
“What happens to a dream deferred? ~ Langston Hughes
As a girl, my parents indulged my drive, my young desires. But as I began to grow older, it was necessary to get serious. For a black girl growing up in 1960s America, there was no time to entertain the idea of entertaining in whatever form. Education was the only way to combat stereotypes and racial prejudice, create a real future, make money, and be taken seriously in this white man’s country. My mother, the daughter of sharecroppers, knew this too, as her mother had dissuaded her from following her own dream of giving voice to her life through song. As Grandma saw it, only whores and fast women took that path to certain ruin. A black girl could ill afford the luxury of being seen as inappropriate in a society where gains were hard won and few, and where she was already deemed inappropriate by virtue of her birth. My mother eventually became a teacher, tucking her dreams into her back pocket. And so did I.
Do It Till You’re Satisfied…Whatever It Is.
“Each person comes into this world with a specific destiny–he has something to fulfill, some message has to be delivered, some work has to be completed. You are not here accidentally–you are here meaningfully. There is a purpose behind you. The whole intends to do something through you.” ~ Osho
In this, my third chapter of life, I am finding my voice again. What I have learned is that even when neglected, my creativity was the thing which kept the fires of my life smoldering. Even as I seemed to inherit my mother’s path of teaching, I was always driven to allow my voice to find a way to express itself even in the classroom.
V is for voice because we all have that urge within which drives us, and pushes us to lend our unique expression to life. Some folk vent that urge through artistic channels, but voice is more than that. It is that thing within which is seeking to come forward into life, into manifestation, through us. It is that which must be. It is the reason each of us chose the lives we chose to create here on the planet Earth. It is our special dispensation from divine Love by which we are to help move life forward. When we ignore the impetus to create, to voice, we sideswipe our lives. We cheat life. Voice is that which must be honored in the individual, in order that she might thrive. It is part of the order of things, and it is vital to our evolution as a species. It is necessary that you give voice to your life in whatever way calls you from the deep. Without your special voice, there is a disruption in the fabric of life here. Things are out of place, difficult to complete if your voice is missing from the equation of life. If you are here on this earth, you have a duty to give voice to your life. You must, you must. And if you haven’t already uncovered, discovered, or recovered your voice, consider this your call to action.
© 2014 Egyirba High All Rights Reserved
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