The title of this blog is all metaphor . It conjures up someone who can do the impossible feat of graceful and bold aerial dancing as if the wind held their feet, as securely as the ground does! It is quite a beautiful image but also a boggling one- as it defies conventional reality!
I have thought – of late- to my inner amusement, that becoming a songwriter as a woman in her fifties, is equivalent to this task! Not just this slightly left of field task but also the more ordinary one of actually earning any money! My skills are the oddest combination of eclectic strands. I teach music – but not in mainstream- as my disability does not allow me to enter the hallowed hallways of mainstream educational establishments. I also teach in a holistic, person centred often therapeutic way using my ESP skills to help my pupils shine and grow. I am a nurturer through music and although the world clearly needs these skills, there is no direct place for me to thrive…..so, a Skydancer I must be!
I listen to the whispers of possibility in the wind and follow these intangible threads as they duck and weave, like patterns in the air. I juggle the cross currents as my strands of Trying bump against each other in my attempts to fashion a working reality that pays dividends, not only to my efforts but in a conventional monetary sense. I have mastered the art of efforting whilst expecting no return. It is the Karma of trying, of keeping positive and of being in the eternal present now. I pick up an idea, whirl with it and toss it into the great sky of potentiality, hoping it will spool out as a thread I can actually follow.
This has become even more the case since the pandemic as my music teaching business nose dived over night and has never really recovered. It has also been the case with collaborators for my songwriting as they disappeared like so much mist in the air as working musicians picked up their conventional lives.
So, my training as a sky dancer takes me to new places; now I juggle training to be a mentor, and a counsellor alongside running my own business teaching music and endeavouring to progress my songwriting where I can. My training to become a counsellor will take four years- a long time to juggle so many strands. Some people would quite frankly think I was quite nuts to even try, let alone continue to try and be a singer songwriter. In some ways, on a purely practical level, I don’t blame them. It is a bit nuts.
But, do we tell the birds they should not sing in a loud, crashing city where they can not be heard? No, for a bird sings because it must. I songwrite because I must. It springs out of me like a spring, bubbling up like water. If I don’t sing and don’t create, I am not alive in the way that makes my heart sing. Songwriting is my heart, my life, my vision, my process, my reaction to life and my gift. Gifts are meant to be shared so I try, and that is simply me.
The hardest thing about this journey is that it is a very lonely one. I have never had music teaching colleagues as I have had to go it alone. I have infrequent and changing collaborators for my songwriting- in part due to my extremely rural location and in part due to the genre bending music I create. Perhaps I am an Ogre to work with- but I don’t think so……! So, I have had to muscle up, all by myself and keep myself creative, keep myself reflective, growing ideas and skills quietly by myself like a small seed in spring time. Sometimes people come on board or organisations get excited and want to help me and even give me grants. But invariably, they get thrown or put off by myriad of obstacles and I am on my own, again. It seems being a holistic music teacher and songwriter is indeed the art of being a skydancer- a kind of song – witch who can create magic, potentiality and growth out of thin air. Unfortunately for me, being a song writer or a music teacher requires Others in a very real sense of the world. For music is something communal by it’s very nature. It would be easier if I was a writer or a painter!
This latest song I have written, is very much about how this journey feels……here it is.
I am on my journey
A journey to Become
A song, song witch for the light
Ooooh, it’s not easy to become.
People come and people go
Leaving me alone
Why? Why? Why
On this journey.
A puzzle left unsolved.
Alone, alone, alone.
My journey is resilience
Learnt through a loneliness of flight.
A sky dancer following the whispers
Of winds that sough through the night.
Ooooh, it’s not easy to become.
I must be a skydancer
who follows the patterns of light
and sing, sing, sing out the whispers
I hear on the night air.
For, I am just a song witch of the air.
The song feels slightly bluesy, folky and is a bit syncopated and uses loads of black notes on the piano…..I haven’t thought, yet, what I would like in it’s sound world . That is kind of irrelevant as I am Skydancing alone with it anyway right now……..!! However the words tell my story, my journey and my emotions as I try to stitch the unfathomable, the seemingly impossible into a reality that could one day function in broad daylight……..