Each night I try to play my guitar and sing because it soothes me. I am learning.
When I came across this song tonight I was struck by the interpretation that came out of me, like a movement through me. A song of sadness, but hope. A song of searching for peace and of release to that which pulls at us.
When I taped it, with the intention to share it with my mother, I did not capture the version I had sung just a moment before, without vocals off key in places and missed chords. Maybe it was it being taped and the search for perfection that shook my voice, my fingers, my breath, altered the right volume and intonation, even lost the basic beat a bit. Or maybe it was just the version to be at that moment. I wasn’t satisfied. The errors, noticeable, were distracting on a pretty simple to play song.
Then it struck me how the mistakes in this version, evident, are a reflection of the brokenness we hide, the burden we want to lay down. This sentiment has echoed throughout today, as the passing of a man who many loved was worked through and the voices of those who have hurt deeply and wanted out have spoken.
Perhaps like the transparency sought in regards to mental health, it is of great purpose to share the less than perfect version I had set out to capture. This is me as I have been trudging along to learn the guitar because when I hold it there is comfort and it enriches my conversation with God, and my children and myself. This is me when listening to something in the background or thinking too much about the capture of the moment that I lose the note in my voice, my fingers shift, I lose my breath. This is me without photoshop or editing or multiple takes. This is me in a dimly lit room in my house. This is me as I have been, having stumbled through dimly lit days set to chords askew and voice cracking, calling out, “move forward.”
Yes, my tribute should not be an attempt at performing perfection and seeking accolades, but in sharing a moment of trying, of feeling, of accepting that the errors don’t take away from the intent of the moment.
This is my music journey. There are only a handful of chords I have learned, and I abbreviate some. When a note is too high or too low in a song I change it because I don’t have a huge range. I have a notebook of songs I have written that I sing to the air around me. That’s me. I have never shared any of my singing/guitar videos publicly, even when I have been pleased with the results, so it seems freeing to post this one with errors, to not wait for the best version of this or any song.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses. We all adjust to be the best version of ourselves we can be. We are real – laughing, crying, tripping and dusting off people looking to where to step next. We all miss a note.
So, I am putting this song out there as an offering of not needing to put something great on here, in order to share a message that maybe we can help to lighten the burden by letting those missed chords be heard.
An offering to all who have suffered, who have sought and who have shared – all of us.
Robin Williams, like so many who have passed before him, is now without an Earthly burden, but, oh!, how we grieve for them all, that it could have been lifted another way.
“You know what music is? God’s little reminder that there’s something else besides us in this universe; harmonic connection between all living beings, every where, even the stars.” – Robin Williams