The voice

Modifié le : 2019/08/06

I closed my eyes, swelled my stom­ach to store the air firm­ly, and sang. We were still only at the so-called glob­al warm­ing stage. The direc­tor is at the piano and leads us, from half a step to half step, to sing high­er and high­er. As I was still strug­gling with the last jolts of my cold, my voice clung to the clut­tered walls of my larynx.

You can’t sing prop­er­ly if the body isn’t at peace. You can’t sing just any more if the mind does­n’t free itself from its fears. So I closed my eyes. I could no longer see the direc­tor’s hand, so I could no longer obey his rhythm, I had to lis­ten more to the rhythm of my com­pan­ions. The expe­ri­ence is sur­pris­ing. By low­er­ing the shut­ters of con­scious­ness, used to look­ing out the win­dow, the body seems more ani­mal, wil­ful, the slight­est defects, the most minor hes­i­ta­tions, but also the full pow­er of the voice is revealed.

The more I lis­tened to this strange voice, which is nev­er­the­less mine, com­ing from my body, the more I learned to bypass the labyrinths of my ten­sions. As a note passed, I sud­den­ly observed this shard, like the glass break­ing. The next time, I opened my mouth more, bent my head, let myself live and die to the sound, and the glass resisted.

We cer­tain­ly can­not always close our eyes. These are the hands of our minds. The wise man will say that it is pos­si­ble to close the eye­lids with­out stop­ping look­ing. I think that’s what I did that evening, along with my fel­low singers. A lit­tle lat­er, I was con­vulsed up with a loud cough, but then my voice became clear, con­vinc­ing, unfettered.

If I return to this choir year after year, it is because it allows this lib­er­a­tion. Learn­ing and appro­pri­at­ing one’s voice is not easy. Pro­fes­sion­al singers spend hours pol­ish­ing and ampli­fy­ing the gears of this unique and fan­tas­tic instru­ment. And it is a mir­a­cle that we ama­teurs repeat­ed­ly see our­selves reach emo­tion. Nev­er­the­less, the exer­cise is sim­ple and acces­si­ble to all.

Our dai­ly lives do not have to move away from the fru­gal expe­ri­ence of clos­ing our eyes. While wait­ing for the bus, while clean­ing up, while going to bed to move on to the oth­er day, it is enough to look with your sens­es, to allow your con­science to explore with­out dan­ger the unsus­pect­ed lands of this mech­a­nism that keeps you alive.

Know your­self, and the sky will help you, get back in touch with your body and it will teach you. May your spir­it be with you, and the dia­logue that will fol­low will sure­ly give birth to your savior.

Because we must not for­get, the truth is not so much to silence his mind as to restore bridges between the many facets of his existence.

That evening, by clos­ing my eyes and singing, I reached, even for a few moments, and with­out glo­ry, this knowl­edge. May I always renew my life.