fandango of shivering owls., souse of swords of evil-omened polyps I scouring – brush of hairs from priests’ tonsures standing naked in the middle of the frying-pan – placed upon the ice cream cone of codfish fried in the scabs of his lead-ox heart – his mouth full of the chinch-bug jelly of his words – sleigh bells of the plate of snails braiding guts –little finger In erection neither grape nor fig”–commedia dell’arte of poor weaving and dyeing of clouds -“beauty creams from the garbage wagon – rape of maids in tears and in snivels ..- on his shoulder the shroud stuffed with sausages and mouths – rage distorting the outline of the shadow which flogs his teeth driven in the sand and the horse open Wide to the sun which reads it to the flies that stitch to the knots of the net full of anchovies, the sky-rocket of lilies – torch of lice where the dog is knot of rats and hiding-place of the palace of old rags – the banners which fry in the pan writhe in the black of the ink-sauce shed in the drops of blood which shoot him – the street rises to the clouds tied by its feet to the sea of wax which rots its entrails and the veil which covers it sings and dances wild with pain ~ the flight of fishing rods and the alhigui alhigui of the first-class burial of the moving van – the broken wings rolling upon the spider’s web of dry bread and clear water of the paella of sugar and velvet which the lash paints upon his cheeks -the light covers its eyes before the mirror which apes it and the nougat bar of the flames bites its lips at .the wound – cries of children, cries of women, cries of birds, cries of flowers, cries of timbers, and of stones, cries of bricks, cries of furniture, of beds, of chairs, of curtains, of pots, of cats, and of papers, cries of odors which claw at one another, cries of smoke pricking the shoulder of the cries which stew in the cauldron and of the rain of birds which inundates the sea which gnaws the bone and breaks its teeth biting the cotton wool which the sun mops up from the plate which the purse and the pocket hide in the print which the foot leaves in the rock.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
~ Nelson Mandela, Rest in Peace Mandiba
Grade school in retrospect is like looking through a kaleidoscope of tumbling images. Memories fall chaotically around each other as I turn and turn that little cylinder filled with 24 crayon colors, autumnal fragrances, VCR’s, and Christmas pageants.
I remember standing in the school sanctuary, afternoon light floating in from above, as my first grade class tried to sing on key to the tune of “Lamb of God.” We were doing our best, although the transition from recess to organized singing significantly slowed down the efforts of our ever patient teacher.
When you are singing in a group, especially a group of 6-year old kids, it can be a real challenge to find your voice. You may think that you’re hitting those notes but in fact are probably, most certainly not.
Fortunately, I happened to be standing next to one of my friends whose talent for singing was already beginning to show, and I was spared the erroneous pride of success.
This friend of mine would continue to pursue and develop her talent throughout grade school. We even played in the school talent shows together; me, on my harp, and Ashley with her voice.
I’m slightly giddy to say that Ashley Kisner has continued her singing into high school and now performs and produces her own music. Is this a shameless plug? Yes, yes it is.
Sure, her voice may sound like the voice of a very hip and cool angel, but I’d like to focus on her determination. There are not that many first-graders who know exactly what they want to do with their life — and then stick to it for 13 years.
Sometimes it’s hard to find your own voice when there are so many others searching for their own. If we go back to the sanctuary that day, all those years ago, when my class was trying to sing the same notes at the same time, little did I know that there was a greater voice inside of all of us.
For some of us finding our voice may not be as straightforward as having an actual (fantastic) singing voice. My hope is that from Ashley’s story of self-determination, it might inspire some of you to take a leap of faith.
Pursuing your dreams is a terrifying and exciting adventure. However, with faith, courage, and determination we may all one day overcome the precipice of fear, free falling into the full expression of our own unique voices.
Although we have gone our separate ways some of Ashley’s recent work has caught my attention and I’d like to bring to all of yours today.
Below are two links. The first is of her official website and the second is a sample of her Christmas EP that is coming out over the holidays.
Check it out! If I didn’t say so already, she’s very talented 😉
Have a great day!
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
Tear me apart.
Then put me back together.
The shattered shells of an empty nest, likely to find traces of young birds’ feathers; trying to fly away. Too soon.
So keep me with you.
In your arms until I can fly again and circle that blue unrequited sky.
Free at last. Free from the oldness, the weight of my actions.
Before I met you. Before I my heart was broken and loved.
Loved and bruised and touched and alive.