A One Man Choir
I believe that we are all different. Yes, we are different than others, but we are also different from ourselves. The human mind is so gigantic, how can I not be ten, fifty, ninety-nine different people?
When I sing, joy fills my heart…or sorrow, or anger. As a singer, I try to give this feeling, this emotion, to others. To get my point across and inspire people in a few short minutes. I can’t be the same person every time I sing. While cheerful, bouncy Bryan takes a breather after an old European hymn, deep, philosophical Bryan croons about heartbreak and hot coffee.
In March of last year, my uncle Tony passed away. I was heartbroken because, while he was one of the nicest people I had ever met, I had never known him as well as I would have liked. At his funeral, I was asked to play the music from the church balcony. To this day I cry when I hear IZ Kamakawiwo’ole sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to the sound of an ukulele.
At his funeral, my cousin Mary read a poem she had written. It seemed to come from my uncle through her lips as she read. One verse specifically captured me.
“…When you laugh and when you weep
When you dance, when you sing, and even when you sleep
Remember, I am with you…”
How can I expect myself to sing, write, or do anything else as one person when I hold every personality of my own, and every personality of his within me?
When I sing, I sing for the world. So that I can reach out to that one person that needs it. I am singing to a man that is hurting and needs to hear the blues to know someone else feels that too. I am singing to a girl reliving her roots through an Irish folk song. I am singing to a nation ravaged, poor, and hungry that needs to feel hope. I sing for any and everyone that needs to hear what I have to say.
To sing is to feel the world past, present, and future. I reach out to hearts and souls whether they can hear me or not. It’s too big of a weight for one person to carry. So I have all the parts of my uncle and of myself help me.
So when I hit that high note, or crescendo just right, I know that there are countless other parts of me just itching for their turn. This, I believe.
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