I am sitting in a comfy chair watching, or should I say listening, to a wonderful television program that is celebrating Tony Bennett’s 90th birthday with incredible singers and songs. How I love that “crooner” genre of music in America…probably best represented, but not only  represented, by Frank Sinatra.  Perry Como, Andy Williams and now Michael Buble are just a few of the male singers I love of that genre.

Voices, how important and wonderful they are in our lives. I purposely don’t share much what my family tells me, but I don’t think she will mind…the other day I heard, “I cry whenever I hear  ‘Oh Holy Night’.” I instantly knew what she meant. I just teared up listening to Andrea Bocelli sing ‘Ave Maria’ backed by a children’s choir from Haiti – Rufus Wainwright just performed another wonderful song.  Lady Gaga opened the show and I just thought, “God, that is just a beautiful performance,” as I was moved by her incredible voice and honesty.

And now K.D. Lang is singing ‘Give Me A Kiss to Build a Dream On’ and all her wonderful songs come rushing back to me especially, ‘Constant Craving’ a song that not only did I love, but also created a deeper awareness that not all of us fit into a common mold; in other words K.D Lang’s voice helped me transcend my own limited mindset based upon such limited exposure to the lives of others.

And now, Stevie Wonder is on the show. Stevie Wonder’s voice opened up not only musical worlds to me, but also the issues of civil rights in America and beyond. Listening to Stevie Wonder is like falling into a pure world of sound that is so connected to the human spirit that one doesn’t need sight to see…“They can feel it all over.”  I didn’t understand those lyrics as a boy, but I do now…thanks to Stevie Wonder’s voice.

I have spent time the past 24 months trying to discover my own musical voice. Along the way I found others whose voices I came to admire. It started with Mark Mayes  and soon I discovered Chuck Aaron’s voice  and then Lawrence Farr  and then Brielle.  These four helped me with their constant kind words of support. Mark taught me the power behind generous and honest words of support and soon I was connected with the other three wonderful people too. Go listen to their voices. I am certain you too will enjoy their voices. Now other voices, like David Hutton, are also helping me discover my voice through his music.

And now Elton John is singing to Tony Bennett…”Can you feel the love tonight?” Yes, Sir Elton John, every time you sing we can feel the love. 

I found that finding your voice is not easy, but once you find it – like a snowflake, it is uniquely beautiful. Your voice does not have to be limited to song either. It can be expressed through other forms of art including our ‘day jobs’. I’ve seen teachers use their “voice” to change the lives of countless children. I’ve seen nurses use their voices to care for the “hearts” of family members at the most difficult times. I have watched people use their voice when gardening in a loving communion with the earth. I’ve watched athletes express their voices in the most amazing ways.

Damn, Tony Bennett is now singing the ‘Best is Yet to Come’ and he sounds great… at 90 years old!!! There’s a voice I need to listen more to. What an inspiration!

Psst..Hey You

Shhh…quiet…gotta whisper…don’t wanna disturb reality…maybe hang out here,just below the surface of reality, a place judgement doesn’t know exists…judgement is a tough sonuvabitch…wanna hear a secret? Kind of scared of the dark…all forms of darkness…particularly the ones that stay hidden way deep…How about you? You scared of anything? Me, I hate saying goodbye to people I might not see again for a long time. I’d rather say, “See ya next Monday.” Someone told me that was weird because  it wasn’t true …so I asked them, “Did you ever believe in Santa Claus?” and they said “Yes.”and I said and did you get a present? and they said “Yes.” and I said so what you believed made sense to you…so I believe I will see you next Monday…”  if I was to have a headstone on my grave, I would want it to say, “see ya next Monday.” and the person who said it was a weird to say that laughed out loud and said “Ok, I get it.”…then suddenly the darkness was gone between us…laughter does that, it is like a breeze that brings in clean, fresh air and fills our souls with hope and a different kind of satisfaction…You ever make tents out of blankets inside your house when you were a child? My grandma would let us cousins use all the chairs and we’d drape blankets over them and we’d make elaborate tunnels with different rooms and areas..and it was a world of fantasy that cost nothing to make and provided hours of enjoyment…i think we should keep making those tents, those playgrounds, those sacred areas where our minds can run free..what do you think? What does sacred mean anyway? To me, I guess it means “touched by God.” When I was little, I believed in God like I believed in Santa Claus…when I was young and strong, I thought I was God, as demonstrated by how much I thought I knew about right and wrong,…now I am old…er…and I come to desire God and the sacred touch in a different way…I am pretty certain that he/she/it (don’t say those 3 words together quickly out loud ’cause it sounds like you’re describing your boss when he got mad at you!) has a great sense of humor. I bet He/She/It…oh, oh judgement has discovered my hiding place…gotta go…

(if you’re an artistic type, all that might make some sense to ya…if not, it will appear the thoughts of a madman. Can’t say for sure who would be right. See ya next Monday!)