Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Letting the Colors Come Through
I meant to post this yesterday but ran out of time helping with the homework, etc., last night.
I have been thinking about some of my special experiences with creative expression. I am a singer, classically trained. Once a long time ago I sang a full senior recital while I was working on my music degree. I love classical art song. Bringing to life the words of the poet, through the musical interpretation as provided by the composer, is an amazing experience. I sang several groupings or sets of song for my recital. One of my favorite groupings was a collection from the works of Ned Rorem, a 20th century composer. He wrote this marvelous gem of a piece from the writings of Gertrude Stein, called "I Am Rose". The song takes about 23 seconds to sing. I loved this song and it suited me so well. Afterwards my faculty advisor told me it was his favorite part of the recital. It was mine, too. I could feel the connection with the music, the voices of the character, the author and composer, coming out through me. It was a powerful moment and a special one for me. It was about letting the colors of the song flow through me and letting the audience experience the feeling with me.
I studied voice for many years and loved every minute of it. It's very difficult and takes a lot of practice, just like with any instrument. But when you hit those "I am Rose" moments, it is amazing. I am no great opera singer and nobody is offering me a recording contract. So maybe I shouldn't keep on studying or practicing, because that kind of success is out of my reach. Often the deepest pain for an artist is that expression that falls just a little short of what you meant to say. But then I'd never have my amazing moments to keep. And they are so valuable to me.
The same is true of my quilting. I have made some truly special quilts and some that will get you by. I'm still learning about FMQ and if I had the money or space for a long arm machine, I'd be going gangbusters. I believe that if I keep trying, I will reach my goal of making amazing quilts, just like the ones I drool over every day. I'm just a caterpillar, inching along, hoping to get a glimpse of the butterfly I can become. The more I try, the more I see that it is attainable.
I want to convince anyone reading this that you, too, have the power to find your colors and sing them out into the world. Find your voice in what you love and treasure the moments when it all comes together.
This is a little long, but I'm glad I got to share. Thanks for listening.