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the middle

Last night we walked around the Jazz Festival and saw a very cool band called Naturally 7. They use only their voices and if you weren't seeing seven guys in front of you with nothing but microphones, you would swear there was a full band playing with drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, and even strings, a horn section or a DJ at times. Amazing what can be done with the human voice.

I saw a preview for a new reality TV show called The Singing Office where a quasi-famous host surprises people in an office and asks them to sing. Some results are bad, some are surprisingly good. They take a few of these people, give them some vocal coaching and choreography help, and then bring them back to do a little performance for their colleagues. A silly little premise and a not-so-original concept, but it inspired me. If someone walked up to me and stuck a microphone in my face and said, "Sing!" what would come out? One of my old favorite songs or something new and original? A tune I can't get out of my head or something I've been wanting to say/sing for a long time? Perhaps just the next sentence I was going to say but put to music.

So, not wanting to be caught off guard in case these people come knocking at my door, I have been practicing. I was talking to God and decided it would be more fun to sing my prayers today. I sang while walking up the stairs. I sang in the subway (those noisy engines cover up quiet vocalisation, no worries), I hummed along in the grocery store. I sang to the cats. There is so much more truth and life and joy and beauty and profoundness and silly fun that I want to portray with my voice. But I don't know exactly what to sing when that microphone of opportunity is thrust in my path.
These days, I am in the middle of many things. I have started a few projects, I am preparing for an exhibit, I am in the middle of a couple of searches for property for different purposes, and I have a few problems to solve like a dryer that won't dry right. The things that intrigue me most, however, are areas that I know God is trying to show me something in. I can feel it, sense some truth or profound insight scratching at the door of my spirit and mind, and yet I can't quite figure out where the whole thing is going or what the point is.

I open my mouth, my mind, my heart, but aside from a few words dropping out, not much is happening. But I will continue to open my mouth and make sounds and one day soon, I will find the right words for the right time. And one day soon the truth will sidle up to me like an old friend and a mystery will be solved which will give me hope that the other mysteries are not hopeless puzzles. And until that epiphanic moment, I will show up every day and practice. There is no substitute for walking through the middle to get to the end.

Check out Naturally 7 on youtube.com. This is a very blurry picture of them taken from my white phone, but trust me, there are 7 of them.

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