Lesson today on voice in 6th grade reminds me of the lesson in writer’s workshop where non-stop writing happening and that was supposed to be a lesson on voice. Child named Nylah exclaims, what is the purpose of this activity and I ask her (ever so politely) what do you think? Another child chuckles and apparently he’d been paying attention. Voice, you jerk, VOICE! Uh, and what is that supposed to mean? (I’m saying all of this nicely, but sometimes these conversation come out a little muddy in 6th grade and especially in my school) Anyway, she repeated the question. Discussion ensues. Blah, blah, blah and what did that fine fellow on the video speak of? Oh, soul? Was it soul he called voice or was it spirit? But how do you teach that, she clamored, on to the very mystery of it all. Especially for me, a teacher of writing. Precisely! I exclaim as if I had known it all along, and then said, who is the only expert on that? Me? Yes, you. You are the only one who can teach yourself voice.
The activity by the way is the very one in which I am engaged right now, and that is writing not stopping, writing without a trace of judgement or back tracking or formality or audience (except we all know there is an audience and there’s also a backspace button on my laptop) HOWEVWER, I will say that judgement is lacking more than the other times.
THERE!!!! It is, my dream, my VOICE, the same dream that told me that I had to start all over again. Do you mind if I tell you?
My books were wrapped up in colorful rubberbands and some bloke (not from England but it sounds good, don’t it?) some bloke from England leans into me and says, “Why don’t you take a lesson or two on voice? Cuz all this here, is old. PUT IT IN THE PAST”
Disgust, hate, vomit, sadness, fear, crying. Self loathing, pity, desire, fuck you fuck you and really? Start again.
aNyway, the result was a lesson noT on test prep but voice. VOICE.
I’ve sung songs in the dead of night, dreams and microphones, belting out the rich flavor of my minds, ive been famous and only in small circles though, blending
I sang I sing.
I want to sing but voice in writing is bigger than the shower or the microphone cuz it’s my baby and a baby can never fit into a bathtub.
How long was that? Enough?
—- starting to redefine, refind, my voice. (fuck, I though I had it and im old now)