THE TIMES IT TORE MY PRIDE

The title for this post comes from lyrics to my song, “Through My Music.” The link is this: #122 THROUGH MY MUSIC.

It absolutely refers to my feelings about “putting myself out there” and feeling squashed. The full lyric line is:

Through my music I forget

the times it tore my pride

but somehow I’m still playing

for comfort while alone

If I were worried about my pride, I wouldn’t have shared my early recordings, since my voice is now considerably better when I sing lower.

I didn’t know that when I first started performing and recording in May.

Although it is obvious that I am obsessed with music right now, I need to say this:

I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN!

I seriously only started playing my guitar again after thirty years a few months ago. Before that, I played my guitar for about six years – from the age of 15 until I was 21. It was during that time I wrote all of my songs.

For the last thirty years my identity has been first as a daughter, then wife, then mother.

I forgot to put artist.

As far as music goes, I’ve certainly improved. It was miraculous for me to record my classical composition, “Farewell” on my old, classical guitar after having just relearned it two weeks before that. The fret-board on my classical guitar is warped; I would love to buy a new one, but cannot afford it.

Despite that, there was something in the recording that wasn’t there thirty years earlier. What I have now is the emotional intensity of my heart connecting with my music.

If I died tomorrow, one of my greatest joys in life was hearing my song recorded and arranged in such a magical way. I used to play a classical, Catalonian folk song, and I believe my melody ranked right up there with that one.

My voice has also come a long way. It doesn’t even hurt my feelings when my husband has told me that my upper register is “hard on the ears.” I’ve never considered myself a good singer; however, I do have a large vocal range.

I remember well when John Denver’s voice really improved and changed. I imagine that other singer/songwriters must have had fascinating journeys.

Since I’ve been performing at Border’s, I’ve gotten many nice compliments on my singing. However, what I am most proud of is that I sing from my heart.

I might have had doubts about whether my songs that are left are “good enough” to record and share, but I don’t anymore. I’ve decided it doesn’t matter, I’m going to record them anyway.

My life feels like a musical. When I’ve gone to a musical, not every song is a hit. Therefore, even my songs that are unconventional can still be recorded if that’s what I want to do.

Recently a friend wrote this to me:

Judy,

I just listened to the one in progress that you put on the blog. Your vocal improvement is amazing.

I think it’s the first time I’ve ever heard “a smile” in your voice as you sang. It’s great.

Still bothered by feeling that there are sometimes too many words/syllables to cover all the music. You either need more notes or fewer words. Can’t decide if I might like it a bit slower as well. I think so. I am eager to hear your finished version of Your Are My Wings. XXOO

I took in my friend’s words and listened to my song to see what she meant about syllables. She was right! As I sang the words: “You know that I always wanted to fly. . .” it dawned on me. Yikes! Take out the word “THAT!”

I really do need a lyric collaborator!

However, my journey is certainly not about creating perfect music!

All of this reminded me of my lyric line on this post title. Although I have had a magical run of nice recordings recently, my music has truly been about “playing for comfort while alone.”

Therefore, I’ve decided to move on with recording the rest of my songs. Now I have not one, but two, imperfect and interesting versions of “You Are My Wings.” In addition, I also have the older versions, which are reminders of how very far I’ve come.

My old pillow. Where is my pride?

“The Pillows”

Lately, I’ve mentioned my seasonal march toward the anniversary of Jason’s death.

The “seasonal march” simply refers to the change of seasons and the poignancy that brings to me – the reminders of bereavement, sadness, and loss. Poignancy and pain are different. I do not feel intense pain anymore. I’ve had so many wonderful outlets, and feeling poignant actually feels beautiful for me now.

I noticed yesterday, that it has finally become time for me to get some new “clutch” pillows. My husband came in and I was holding my cell phone camera to photograph my pillow for this blog. He said nothing. He doesn’t question anything that I’m doing and I appreciate that. But I’ll bet that sure was strange for him to see me taking a picture of my pillow!

The story about “my pillows” is on my post about Jason in this paragraph:

Finally, the word came to us. Jason would be operated on out at Loma Linda Hospital by a very famous surgeon, Dr. Bailey. He had done many infant heart transplants.

I remember clearly that I had no bags packed. I just stood up from that rocking chair and drove with Michael to Loma Linda, following the ambulance with Jason inside. We took a hotel there for a week. We went to a drugstore to buy pillows, underwear, and toothbrushes. I wore the same clothes for that whole week. I still have the same pillows from 18 years ago; it is my daily reminder of that week.

After nineteen years, I have finally become ready for some new pillows.

Such is bereavement; the process cannot be rushed.

Jason as a baby – he loved my guitar so much!

© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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