Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sing Your Song Whatever It Is.

I end up playing word association with Taylor most days. He frequently just gives me one word (his sentence) and I then launch from there until I land on what it is that he is trying to tell me. I have to go back and quickly scan everything we've done for the past 12 months, but usually I can make the connection. This morning the first thing he said to me was, "Dreams." Well, one of you guys might think (naturally/obviously) that he would tell me about a dream he had had. Uh, that's not really possible----that he'd talk about, not that he would dream---but that's another blog. So, the word, dreams...scanning now. Got it. Yesterday we had watched Cinderella (again!) and had sung along: "A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you're fast asleep.." So, I got that one! Name that tune: 20 points.
He especially loves "Bella Notte" from Lady and the Tramp: "Oh this is the night, it's a beautiful night. And we call it bella notte." When I tell you that he likes it, that means he sings in his own beautiful interesting-tone way and he sings one or two words from the song. My cue word for Bella Notte is the word, Stars.
So, again, I win both Word Association and Name That Tune all in the same breath. (Washer and the dryer are prizes for being able to do this, I feel certain.)
I love to sing. I sing all the time. I know lots of songs. Well, actually I don't know any current "hit" songs. But I do know lots of old "If I had A Hammer" type tunes. (Somebody call the "This woman needs a life police!") I promise that this will be my last true confession for a very long time---maybe even until tomorrow. But, when I was younger--like in middle school, I used to hide away in the room I shared with two of my sisters. When nobody was around, I would put on a record (vinyl record, on a record player---you can google that if you are younger than 40) and listen to Bach and Beethoven and Mozart. And then, (this is the part you have to swear not to tell anybody) I would conduct those pieces in front of my very own (imaginary) orchestra. I loved that kind of music early on. But I never told anybody. It just spoke to me. I was a geek from an early age; I hid it by being funny. I am still a geek, a nerd---but funny.

If you're still reading this and wondering where it's going, get in line. So am I.
No, but one Sunday, Mrs. Adams, had her 8th grade Sunday School class (of which I was a part) write down our favorite piece of music. She passed a wicker basket around to collect our answers. I guess this was the precursor to, "Is that your final answer?" and so, "Lock it in." So, I locked in my answer along with 15 of my brilliant peers. Oh Lord, my stomach aches as I write this and you've already guessed part of what's coming. Sure enough, Mrs. Adams read, "Steve, lovely. You wrote: Pachabel Canon in D. Beautiful." and I think Bill wrote, Grieg's Peer Gynt. Ginger probably wrote Chopin's etude number so and so,Opus whatever. Oh dear me. Oh help. I had followed my heart; I only heard one song in my head that day. I knew all of that other music, but on that Sunday morning, the piece of music I loved most in the world was a song called, "Just Walk Away Renee" by some singer I could not possibly remember today. Yep, I had locked in "Just Walk Away Renee" as my final answer. Fast forward: I did not die. I thought I would, but I didn't. Oh, I loved Mrs. Adams. I'm sure she didn't, but that dear woman said, "Oh, Marianne, I love that song too." (Not!) She probably had never even heard it before but, she saved me. Sort of. Some. A little. But who cares? It was nothing that twelve years of intense therapy couldn't fix. But nothing--not even that could squelch my love for singing.

For Taylor, music must be what his feelings sound like. Along those same lines, Victor Hugo said that, "Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." My guess is that's why Taylor likes to "sing" Making a joyful noise is familiar to him. He knows that it makes him feel better to break forth into singing. Taylor knows it.
And you? Even if you don't sing well--or good or often. Even if you only sing one word (Dreams/Stars) Even if you sing Pachabel or "Just Walk Away Renee". Sing. In your own way, SING!
With Taylor for sure, music begins even when he had no idea what the words are. (Like who honestly knew Bella Notte?) You know what? Taylor has no comprehension of what the words to his favorite song mean. But, on some level, the song touches him.
I am locking in these words---and this music--as Taylor's favorite song today....Final Answer:
A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're fast asleep
In dreams you lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling thru
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
the dream that you wish will come true.


  1. Okay Marianne and followers: forgive me for taking your blogspot for a public service announcement, but I want to piggyback on today's message. The text from Cinderella is lovely, but the melody is what touches so many people and they don't even realize it. Composers before 1950 certainly knew how to butter their bread with beautiful melodies. It is what made (makes) you listen to those "great oldies - Beethoven, et al.". It imperically touches the side of the brain that recognizes an emotion that makes you feel good. Physically! Why wouldn't Taylor want to hear it 200 trillion times. IT FEELS GOOD! Something about releasing endorphins ... (Sorry, my doctorate doesn't cover that!)
    When Cole was in second grade we had a day in music that the students could choose their favorite songs. Without pause, four little boy hands went up: Cole, Evan, Chip and Cameron. I called on Evan. He said, "Let's sing that really pretty one." Everyone responded Yeah. I knew exactly what he wanted. It was a piece in the minor key, but it was not sad. It was simply beautiful. These rough and tumble soccer boys wanted to feel the power of that music. They didn't have the text to name it, but they had the response of how it made them feel.
    That part of Taylor's brain is right on track. Would that we could train everyone that way. Go Walt Disney! Go You! Go John Williams! Go Joe and Cole! Keep it up everyone. End of soapbox...

  2. Marianne -- we were ALL geeks back then (and now), conducting our Beethoven, our Bach, our Julida Polka! And I have an idea that your ipod and mine probably match -- nothing written much past 1975 -- but some truly wonderful stuff written before.

    All those wonderful tunes run through my head all the time -- and I have an idea that Taylor heard them in utero, so they've been running through HIS head for years and years and years too.

    (and glad to see you back -- I was panicked when you didn't blog yesterday -- worried that someone was seriously ill or something.)

  3. and bless Mrs. Adams. (Ginger's mom?) She must have had a gift for loving.

  4. I've cried twice today, At the ending of A River Runs Through It, and the end of your blog post...(getting old makes you sappy)
    Such tender true words you write daily. I told Deanie, you truly need to publish. You could self publish your writing along with the wonderful photos.
    Thanks for sharing your words and life.


Thank you so much for your comments. I know it's scary to put yourself out there. I really appreciate your being on this journey with me. You really are brave..