I once asked a friend if I was a passionate person. He paused on the phone, so I re-phrased my question. He replied very softly. “Yes. Yes you’re passionate, but not fiery-passionate.” I was mildly disappointed. I wanted to be a burning light of passion consuming everything, setting other people on fire. “You’re more like the water. Slow, steady, sometimes getting whipped up, but there is a depth to your passion, a longevity, an intense profundity and power.”
There are very few things I like doing on request. I will still do them, but begrudgingly, laconically, with varying degrees of irritation. There are a variety of things, sometimes the same things I get requested to do, which I love when I’ve made the initial choice. When I perform those tasks, participate in those actions, I give my everything. When I sing, when I really sing and worship, it doesn’t come from my vocal chords, but deep, deep inside the tissues of my heart. It comes from a quietly raging place within me, and it grows taking on a life and form of its own that cannot be contained. In those pure moments, my anxiety about other people’s thoughts and opinions are buffeted out of the window of my consciousness. My voice rips out loud, long, strong, covered in a myriad of emotions, thoughts, a polyphonic expression of who I am.
My rib cage becomes like a prison, which my fleshy heart pours itself against, tears at, rails and tries to snap, to break free and leap out into the sound waves that surround me in a harmonic aura of light. The cage grows tight, my lungs are squeezing, straining to push everything, push my heart out of my mouth and into the ether, the other world.
I know at times it is vital to be conscious of other people, how your presence, your sound, your being affects them. I spend so much of my life reinforcing that internal prison, to make myself acceptable, to mould into a shape that benefits and is conducive to other people. I shut down, silence, redirect, or just whisper.
But sometimes, I just wish, there was that place to be completely free, but not alone. To let rip and pour out my heart in song, in shouts, in speaking loud, and for a moment, surrounded by people I love, people who are also in that place of worship, to crush that ossified prison cell and step out, ringing loud and clear.