My eyes were leaking. In a recording studio, at the mic, headphones hugging my ears immersed in my favorite sound in the world. A masterfully delicious well seasoned emotionally intelligent jazz piano slow dances with my voice anticipating my every move, madly in love, transcending technique. A lifetime of the ten thousand hours it takes to master the craft, broken dreams that never went away, my shattered heart split wide open still mending, and out poured joy like an old best friend.
It's July, and a heatwave is searing Los Angeles, but I was in the cool breeze and quiet that is Portland, Oregon. A quaint house with gardens and paths I lost and grounded myself in plants trees water fountains and birds. Per my usual, I was fully awake at 5:30 am to feed my cat who wasn't there, but in Los Angeles — the sounds of the first life of morning washed over me. I heard every bird song, early low-key morning dog walker, the wafting wings of a pigeon on my windowsill and every nuance of the breeze caressing the open windows of my attic room.
There to begin a journey with a brilliant, beloved friend. It happened. It wasn't planned, much like the love story that is my husband and me, the only true love I have ever known. Easy, knowing, honoring and loving, I'd been gifted again with tapping into a magical gift that could only be gleaned from the secrets of my heart and the power of my knowing that deep inside, this is how it's supposed to be. Yes, the "knowing."
So, feeling the tears not pouring but leaking during a take, I knew I was experiencing a sacred moment. A moment I never thought would happen again. A gift I had grieved so hard it made the matter worse. My grief came pouring out yet again. A grief I became friends with but never forgave.
I get a second chance. How is this possible?
I lost my voice for two years. The recipe for why is quite extensive, so I want to keep its screen time brief since it robbed me of joy and deserves to die a slow death with no headlines for its ego or the power I gave it over me.
Age, hormones, acid reflux, allergies, stress, grief, Pilates, and I stopped running.
Let's start with how I have never looked or felt my age, though it was and is a thing. I turned fifty. Hormones depleted, so I did hormone therapy, which was brilliant, but they overdid the testosterone, which lowered my voice. Acid reflux trashed my throat, and allergies were epic. Grieving over the death of two very special people caused ugly crying, which also trashed my voice. I stopped running because of injuries, which lead me to Pilates, which healed my karate injuries but stressed out my throat muscles. Running has always been the key to breath control, which is critical for singing.
Not only did I lose high notes, I lost most all notes. I also lost my breath control. I had nothing. It was terrifying. And so I grieved the loss of my greatest gift. I grieved it hard. Harder than I could ever admit because I was forced to focus on the other gifts I needed to explore and express or succumb to the reality of my depression.
That is the brief version of my harrowing journey that led me to finish writing my first book. So, I thought I was okay with it all. I had to be. After all, my voice was gone. I knew I was more than just that, so my optimism regarding the state of affairs took over.
I was a book author! And that in itself should be enough for anyone. Somehow, I became something and the rest of who I was magically disappeared. But it never could. And my heart knew that.
And so, here we are. Here I am.
Timing and time are very mysterious things. We think we know and yet time always has its way. And on this spin around the sun, it gifted me.
Writing this on a plane back to Los Angeles, my eyes are not leaking, they're pouring, because of allowing myself to capture and put words to my feelings "in real-time" as it's happening when it's fresh and raw. I own the surreal-ness that my life has always been and honor my soul's longing.
Gratitude because I am not procrastinating the owning and sharing of an experience that is my joy, the essence of who I am that has always been begging me to record it in words and song.
Sweet spot. Finding it is everything. Keeping it is more. Sharing it with the world is a dream that was placed in my heart. Not just for me, but for all who seek it. It is mine to give in the hopes of inspiring and empowering others to seek, find and gift theirs too.
I just peeked out the plane window. I'm flying in clear skies high above the soft fluffy clouds gliding in mid-air light as a feather. I'm flying. Yes. I am.
I get to reclaim a dream and finally have a shot at making it a reality.
I get a second chance.
Because it’s time.