dream-catching : voice


i have dreams. i'm talking about little visions. sometimes big visions.

they come when i'm sleeping, when i'm awake, during yoga, while cooking, while looking out the window. i've never spoken of them. to anyone. never even wrote them down. until i had one a few days ago and i finally told cj about these dreams {thoughts, ideas, visions, whatever you want to call them}, and so ceej suggested i begin to keep track of them and write them down. i've started to do that.

today, while napping, i had a very real dream indeed:

i was on some kind of stage. i had my guitar, and there was a small crowd. i began to play angel from montgomery, an old john prine song made popular by many different artists. i started to play the chords. it was sloppy. i was nervous. but everyone got the idea. they knew what i was about to sing, and everyone smiled and lightly clapped their hands in approval. we were outside. so i felt comfortable, for the first time, belting out the words and giving the melody my own flair. something i've always wanted to do. let go. completely. i've never felt something so powerful...and i really felt it. i could feel it in my entire waking body. that was my real voice. the one i've always hoped to awake. as soon as i woke from my dream i remembered a comment cj made a few weeks back when we were at the davis farmers' market. we threw a couple dollars into the guitar case of a local musician as he sang his heart out. it was beautiful. cj commented on how scary and out of control it probably feels to really let go in order to let your voice come out so wonderfully. and that made sense to me. it takes courage to let go. so much courage. so much trust that it will come out perfect. your own perfect. not someone else's.

i've always doubted my own voice. but i've always desperately wanted to open up and let it fly out at its own will and desire. yes, i am talking about my literal voice, but i am also talking about my voice: my words, my heart, my thoughts, my intentions. i tend to block them. to put them aside because it's just me. i don't sing loud because you sing just so beautifully and there's no need for me to take up more time. i don't contribute to the big conversations as much as i'd like because my ideas and visions just seems either too simple or too outrageous, and what you said was just fine anyway. my voice is stuck. and i've known it for years.

that dream woke me up. it felt so good to put aside inhibition and to let my heart come out. it's time. i'm taking the first step to letting my voice go, and i'm trusting that it will all come out fine.

i'll be playing my guitar for the rest of the afternoon, trying to let my voice go while trying not to disturb the neighbors upstairs...or maybe i shouldn't worry about disturbing them? maybe they'd like to hear a little angel from montgomery.

{this is the beginning of a new little series: dream-catching. i'll try to share some of my dreams with you, but i'll keep most of them in my personal journal as they are precious indeed}


Meghan said...

Ann Marie, We are just up from the diner about 11 miles. Got married at the Rendezvous Ranch 5 miles up. We love it there and go nearly every weekend. We are probably very close to your cabin. It is a magical area, no.

I love your dream.

kelly ann said...

this was so beautiful, what an incredible dream. i got a little emotional reading this post, actually. i hope you go for it, dear, whatever your dreams are... i hope you take the leap, because i have no doubt you will soar. <3

L said...

The world needs your voice, Ann! Let it ring out clear! Freeing one's voice to speak is so challenging, but you already know what yours sounds like, so that's a head start.

I doubt the upstairs neighbors will mind. I loved it when my roommate got out her guitar to strum. It always seemed to brighten up the humdrum.

Char said...

i always love to hear that's a favorite of mine (and i live in montgomery)

julia said...

yes. yes. please.

i remember that pretty song you played from behind our dining room table and i know there are more. so glad to hear you say you know so too.

i've spent a lot of time being intimidated by what i'm not. a book called "art and fear" told me this:
"the lessons you are meant to learn are in your work. to see them, you need only look at the work clearly--without judgment, without need or fear, without wishes or hopes. without emotional expectations. ask your work what it needs, not what you need. then set aside your fears and listen, the way a good parent listens to a child."

when i subscribe to this, my commitment to my work breeds fulfillment--let's me let go.

saw this, thought you might like it. inspiration, perhaps?

p.s. longest comment ever.

Aline Correa said...

beautiful! I can relate to that a lot... I've felt it numerous time. I feel that these last few months, I've been able to regain my voice, so to say...
I think it's good. I think the world needs different, unique voices... not the same old ones :)

rebekka said...

That of my all time favorites. Two of my very best friends got married last year and we are dear friends with John Prine's wife. Their reception was small and intimate, and he walked up to the mic in the middle of it and played and sang Angel from Montgomery, and we were all in tears. I'm from Alabama, and the song always makes me weep. Anyway...