This morning on my run in the park, I was having trouble letting go of a grudge against myself. It was causing me pain. So I sat down on a bench and tried to breathe. Suddenly I saw my own heart — an enormous dark cloud — hanging over the open field. And I heard the words: “This is ours to heal.”
I noticed a women dealing with a man who had followed her on a bicycle. I heard a cry from a mother whose child had bitten her. Again, I said: “This is ours to heal.” (You can hear me tell the full story here.) I considered how much easier it was to bear my own pain when I framed it as “ours.” And the strange relief of feeling other folks’ pain as “ours”, too, of not having to hold it at arm’s length.
And then it hit me: That’s why I’m so loyal to the act of singing. It’s a way to take private suffering and release it to the public domain. It’s a way of discovering what it feels like to be part of a “we” that has a chance of mutual support. It’s a way of connecting to other peoples’ broken parts in a way that might leave us a little more whole.
So this week our mission is to sing about what is Ours to Heal. As usual, read on for options.
Option A: Sing to yourself. As the song says: Everybody hurts. Is there a part of you that is feeling lost, broken or wounded today? Or maybe just a little bit fragile and unsure? If you take a moment to consider, you’ll probably find a little something there. But there is also surely a part of you—maybe just a tiny part—that feels warm, calm, or capable of giving love. Both of those parts are worthy of respect and attention. Take a moment to consider what it would mean for the whole thing to be “ours to heal.” And then sing a little song to yourself. Melodies, syllables, rhythms, words, stories — it’s all fair game.
Option B: What is yours to heal? At every moment in the world, there is lots of joy and lots of pain. These days we are more than aware of the famine, conflict, disease and other varieties of suffering all over the world. This will continue to be true tomorrow. Today the question I’d like you to consider is: What is yours to heal? For the moment, let go of everything else. What are you truly feeling heartbroken over in your own slice of the world — and what do you have the power to change? Sing about that.
The steps are as follows:
- Step 0: Sign up for a free SoundCloud account here. Join the SSS group.
- Step 1: Record yourself singing for two minutes.
- Step 2: Upload to SoundCloud and post the track to the SSS group.
- Step 3: Listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow singers. (Play nice!)
Deadline: Your tracks should be uploaded by midnight wherever you are on Monday, October 26, 2015.
Length: The length of your finished work should be about the time it takes to bite the hand that feeds you.
Description: It would be awesome to include a short description of where and when you sang your piece.
Title/Tag: When uploading to SoundCloud, put “[sss-heal]” in the title of your track. Also include the term “sss-heal” as a tag. This will help us find it.
Group: Once the track is uploaded, click on the “Add to group” button below the waveform and make sure to select the Society for Spontaneous Singing group. (This option will only appear if you have already joined the group! So do that now.)
Linking: You are welcome to include this info in your description:
This track is a reply to “SSS Prompt 39: Ours to heal.” More on the Society for Spontaneous Singing at http://singthis.org .
Thank you, sweet singers!
Jascha & Amado