So, I came to a realization recently. As I shift through the minutia that is available about my Gods and how they might have been worshiped in their time, the one factor that I have seen repeatedly is the importance of music and storytelling. It was a cultural imperative – and from what I know of Ireland today, still it. Song, dance, storytelling; myth, legend, and history. The creative was, in a sense, divine. Their music speaks of who they are. It’s one of the things that I have always been most strongly drawn to – the music and the old stories. And when you realize how much more important it was then – the druids had classes within druidry based on storytelling and music making, many of the deities were either musician/storytellers or are the patrons of musician/storytellers. In a time when the tribe was all and warfare between tribes constant, only the druids, musicians, and storytellers were allowed to travel openly between the different tribes.
And in this – as was my want – I examined my own life in relation. And what did I find? That I was most in-tune with Danu and Dagda when I was in college. And this is no coincidence. When I was in college, music was my life. No, I’m not being dramatic. I was a music major, double majoring in voice and flute and – as required by my school’s rules – studying piano as well. I was in the band and the choir. All of my friends were involved with the music program except for three of my roommates (out of eight, four of us were in band together and I wasn’t friends with the odd girl out). I was surrounded by music. And I was still writing. Almost constantly. If there wasn’t music, there were stories. Often there was both. It was always there. And I was want to burst into random song, just for the joy of raising my voice to the sky. Though I, like I’m sure any college student studying performance, was always ready to perform for an audience and adulation (okay, maybe it wasn’t quite adulation, what do you think, Bubba?). Always. Spent a night in London singing for my drinks along with some of the other ladies in my choir. ^__^
But it was more than that. I would sing just to sing. I would sing when surrounded by people who I knew weren’t overly impressed by my likely mediocre voice. Often times, they’d join in. And in those moments was the reason I chose to go to college and study music – the joy of taking what was in me making something beautiful that flew to the Gods. I was more connected – to Danu and Dagda, to the natural world, and my place in it – than I have been for the most of the last six years. (please don’t misconstrue this to mean my darling Joshwa has anything to do with my lack of connectedness – his deep and abiding love for music is a large part of what brought us together initially)
But in March of 2005, I started working at USM and – though my initial position afforded me a more lax atmosphere where I could occasionally burst into song – I was forced to rein in my natural inclination to jubilant noise. Yeah, I like that phrase – jubilant noise. Because that’s what it was. It wasn’t always words, wasn’t always an actual song, but it was always jubilant, always joyful. But three years of working behind a desk, of growing up and having to become more “respectable” in my position made me nearly stamp out this tendency. Even now – after having been out of work for three years, I still am more apt to not let loose and just sing when the mood strikes. But I’m getting better.
When I find myself at home alone and a song pops into my head, or while Joshwa and I are cooking, I find it easier and easier to release that song that’s always locked just beneath my breast. And in those moments I feel lighter, freer. I’m making an active effort, immersing myself in music again. Even now, I’m listening to one of my playlists on Playlist.com. I have the other playlist here on my blog (this one is sans the rock since I haven’t been in much of a rock mood lately). My voice is out of shape, as is my diaphragm (no, not the contraceptive, my breathing muscle) and I’m currently unable to play my flute because my mouth is out of shape (but I’m going to get my mom to bring me my beginner flute next time she comes). I realize just how far my ability has fallen, but I’m all the more determined to get myself back to where I was. No, I don’t think I’ll make it to the stage at this point in my life – and I am so over living in a city large enough to allow me to do it even if it wasn’t too late. But I can bring back that joy that I once had in life and in music.
I have also taken another step. I’m getting serious about my writing again. I’ve started working on a book – a story that has been bumping around in the back of my mind for a year or more now. It has finally morphed into the kind of story that I feel like I can tell. So, I’ve started another blog (no, it won’t be replacing this one, don’t worry) where I can type it up and get some feedback from my friends who are far away as I go through with the writing. Of course, I’m still waiting to hear back from Associate Content and trying to find another way that I can get my writing – poems and such – out there for public consumption that will assure I get my due credit. If you have advice, let me know!
Well, for now, there is a story calling me. I’m off to write! Take time to make a jubilant noise – to whomever you believe in, but for your own joy, too. Brightest blessings!