I have a voice. It makes noise. Sometimes, when I speak with Lucy, my voice makes sounds – onomatopoeic gibberish to the rest of the world, but Lucy understands perfectly.
I like to observe myself from a short distance. I like to speak from afar, what they call the ‘third person,’ it makes for a better view. That way, I can hear my voice, listen to my heartbeat, and see myself clearer. Yet, my voice is always personal, there’s no other second or third person here but me. Just me.
When I was little, I wanted to sing. I could play the piano, but people said that singing was for the pretty ones. So, my voice settled into my fingers and sang through the piano. I played for the pretty ones, listening to them sing, a tiny figure, hidden behind the ponderous piano. People could not even see me. They thought the piano was playing itself!
I had a dream once, when I was seven, I dreamed that I was singing, a beautiful song, a smooth and sweet voice, not loud but strong. It was just a dream, and I thought nothing of it, until one day, many years later, I discovered it again, just by chance. I wrote some songs, but did not have money to pay anyone to sing them, and so I sang. That was when I realised I had a voice! They lied to me, that I couldn’t sing. Why did they lie? Perhaps the pretty ones were afraid that I would find out, and prove them wrong? Perhaps they were afraid I would take their voice from them if I found mine? Perhaps they didn’t want me to play piano and sing too? I don’t know. I don’t understand this thing called competition and jealousy. I just want to Be.
And, yes, I have a voice!
I can speak through words. I can paint with words. Make words dance. Teach words to sing. Words have music. But music has more than words. Music is more important than words. Music holds a universe of meaning inside just one note. Music speaks even when my tongue cannot prattle. Music helps me dream. Music makes all other art for me. My voice is lucky to have music. It is a precious thing, but it cannot be held, music is to be shared, it lives inside its own body and soul. I cannot tell music what to do.
I am glad for my voice. And for music. With my voice, and the help of music, I can touch, smell, taste, hear, see and dance the universe, awake inside my dreams.