Last weekend we travelled a few hours to the south west to visit the Tamar valley on the border of Devon and Cornwall. Gresham Studios is the home of Counterparts, Peter Ursem and Helen Porter. Helen was until recently musical director of Steamheat, the group my husband sings with. She is also part of the Misbehavin‘ jazz quartet.
We had a lovely day in the sun, in the company of many singers and artists, who were demonstrating the creativity and joy of making music together. I found myself (as the accompanying spouse) repeatedly being asked “and do you sing too?”
My usual reply was a dismissive “no” – and that is true. I don’t belong to a group, or perform as my husband and both my children do.
But it was a strange coincidence that on my return home I received a photo from an old school friend (thanks Jo) reminding me of when we were in the school choir together and frequently won competitions!
Yes I am there in the picture, and yes I could sing, and can sing, although rarely do sing now.
It has really made me think about the passing of time, who I was then, and who I am now. The same and not the same. And how easy it is to disconnect with parts of ourselves at different times in our lives. What often stops us doing things is when we think we can’t perform as well as others, and we lose confidence. I have been reminded this weekend that it is not about competitions and winning, it is more about expressing our true selves and harmonising with others. I think I need to allow myself to say “I do sing, but not often with other people at the moment”, and perhaps I could even try singing along to the car radio sometimes…
I wonder how many of you out there sing, with others or on your own?