A Vocal Teacher Who Has to Find His Voice


The irony is delicious, really.  Here I am at 52, a fairly able writer, and a successful vocal teacher.  Now, it appears, I have to find my voice in my writing.  And, it’s true, my friends.  I have spent so much time with my delicate cancerian sensibilities, and son-of-a-librarian desire to write a correct sentence, that I have spent nearly no time at all learning to write with a genuine, conversational voice.  I’ve kept myself encased in the concrete coffin of rules so tightly that I can’t imagine how I’ve felt any satisfaction with my writing to date.  Ain’t that a bitch?

Today is my first leg on finding my voice.  Bear with me because it might get awkward.  By all external appearances, I am adequately refined thanks to my mother.  My father taught me by example to be direct but kind when talking with those outside my home, and inside my home by contrast.   I find myself struggling to ascend to some elusively elegant heights of language while losing something in the translation.  It’s not easy working this hard to avoid typos and incorrect sentence structure.  It’s a drag to stifle my truest intimacy in an effort to make my thoughts palatable to others.  Is it possible that I have written myself right out of my writing?  Perhaps.

So, dear reader, I am starting here on Powodzenia’s Blog to write with more fluidity.  More directness.  More chutzpah.  I wonder how that will work out?  Any guesses?

Let me start this arduous journey by telling you something personal about my writing.  I love to write.  More than my music, acting, painting, or anything else, I love writing.  It makes me feel at home.  It shoves my guts into all the right places.   Writing thrills me like little else does.  The peace I feel at my keyboard excites my brain, my fingers, and my heart, and depending on what I’m writing…  well, you get the picture.   If I could make a living doing this work, I would.  It’s not that I don’t love what I do, but the clicking of my fingernails on these little squares is my dance.

When I was a little boy, I used to have a small, green pad of paper that I kept locked tightly in my drawer.  I wanted complete privacy to write my truest heart, so I had my dad install a lock onto the drawer.  I felt so free with that little key in my pocket.  I could write whatever I wanted.  I could say how much I hated my parents, how stupid my friends were, and how I wished I could have a boyfriend when at the time it was the last thing I wanted known by anyone.  There was nothing I couldn’t share with my little, green pad.  Sometimes, when I was pissed off, I would scribble so hard that I would tear the paper, leaving indentation on the many pages below.  This collection of pages held my truth.  What could be greater than that?

So, now it’s 40 years later, and I’m still doing the same thing.  Writing my truth.  Only now, I’m doing it in a public forum.  And as I write these words, the first with my truer voice, I realize I don’t care what others think of what I write.  I’m happy if they enjoy it, but if I am to be whole, I must bang away at my little Netbook until the full truth is told.   That is what a writer is expected to do.  The good ones at least.  And if the sentences are fragmented, or the words are concocted in my head, so be it.  I suspect someone will understand what I mean.   Clarity comes best through intention rather than simply from technical perfection.   At least that’s what I’ve found when I read someone else’s work.

I’m tired of being so damned careful all the time.  What is it they say?  Those who walk down the middle of the road get hit by cars going in both directions.  I guess I’d better pick a side. And God knows I have a story or two to tell.  This life has been nothing if not abundant with storytelling opportunities.  So, wish me luck.  Be sure to keep me honest.  It’s show the story, not tell the story, right?  Damn!  It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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