Keep Quiet

Tonight Marc and I have been playing music. drumming, and singing during the intermission between Zo’s dinner and bedtime. He originally invited me into the one-man-band as a contract djembe player. I was then asked to move to vocals as my drumming was a little loud. I tried to explain that I have a really hard time keeping the rhythm if I’m not the loudest person in the room…

Is this not my life?

Flashback to voice lessons in tenth grade: My teacher tries to coach my voice down from the rafters as I attempt to belt out something from The Messiah. We then have a long talk about the danger of using volume to self-correct the group.

I still do this. When I get nervous and unsure I just get bigger and louder to cover all of the unexpected static. I also start presenting my prizes for validation. Looking for the eternal “OK!”, thumbs up.

And so my brief stint as head djember brought my mind to this from poet Jane Hirschfield

I’ll add that, in our current culture of encouraging all young writers to publish and perform, I am the one who will say, “Why rush?” It’s the introvert in me perhaps, but I think it is just fine for a young person to write for writing’s own sake, and to delay as long as possible entering that world of outside validation. I know this is incomprehensible to extroverts, and foreign to a culture of Facebook and blogging – but both kinds of young people write, and I want to keep some room in the world for the quiet and private.

You can read a fuller version of her interview here.

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