don’t stop your voice

Posted on September 2, 2011 by

Your voice matters.

A few days ago I published a response to the Naomi-and-Dave death threats. Word got out. Some people like it and shared it. People came and read it. And I’m so glad.

Usually, I’m an introvert. In fact, I’m always an introvert.

But I don’t always act like one. There are two kinds of silence: listening silence and invisibility silence. There’s a difference beween allowing myself to be in the background because I’m paying attention and forcing myself to stay quiet despite myself. Invisibility is fatal.

So I spoke up.

There’s more, though.

Voice holds space.

Your voice is part of you. It’s part of your body, it’s part of your spirit, it’s part of your presence in the world. Not just the words you say, but the actual apparatus with which you say them. Your soundmaking devices matter. Feeling them work matters. Playing with them matters.

There’s a reason singing has lasted so long as an art.
There’s a reason you sing in the shower.
There’s a reason you have a voice.

When you use your voice, you create vibration. You create resonance. You tap into the amplification and echo chambers in your head and chest to create an invisible force.

I know, it sounds like a Marvel comic. There’s a little magic in it–really.

Try it.

Hum. If you don’t know how to start and you’re familiar with the syllable om, start with that. Play with the feelings in your head. Notice the way it feels under your cheekbones, on your lips, in your throat. Can you feel it in your chest? Try opening and closing your mouth. Smile or laugh while you hum.

Notice what happens if you get sad.

Your throat might close off. The sound might stop. If not, keep making sound and notice how it changes. If it does stop, consider this:

Sound is an outlet, a way of being present, a way to exist. Often (not always) grief comes up as part of a story that we’re not supposed to exist.

Making sound, being aurally present, is a way to un-tell that story. It’s a way to choose to make another path.

Voice, feeling your voice, touching your voice, knowing your voice, using your voice is about presence and power and joy.

Open your throat. The world is listening.

It is not only humans who have ears.