Shhhhhh. I have a secret. I’m an introvert at heart.
I told a new acquaintance over the summer that I was a wallflower and she laughed at me. Sure, I’m a lot more confident and assertive now that I’m out from under The Douche’s thumb and perhaps I have the capacity to dissemble (tolerably) in social situations. At heart though, I’m dorky, awkward, and the process that’s supposed to filter the chaos of my thoughts to what comes out of my mouth doesn’t always function properly. I’m far more comfortable one-on-one or in a small group than in a crowd. It’s not a surprise that many of the things I enjoy are solitary ventures – I’m an avid bibliophile, I meditate, I garden, I write, I take long sojourns in the woods with no one but the whispering trees for company.
Here’s the thing – being part of something greater than oneself, feeling connected, is a basic human need that even the most stalwart recluse sometimes craves. That’s (part of) why I sing – to experience that connection. Immersed in the music, there’s no pretense, simply naked self, blending, intertwining, becoming part of a greater whole. In a choral setting, the individual contribution holds value, not in standing out, but becoming a perfectly indistinguishable, seamless unification of harmonic balance.
There’s a musical utopia, where yesterday and tomorrow disappear, and only the poignant moment of communal creation exists. It doesn’t matter the age, race, background, or lifestyle of the person standing next to you for the language of music – emotion – is intrinsically human. The truly miraculous thing is when the last note fades, the sentiment lingers… the sense of camaraderie and connection remains. Amity, forged in musical expression.
Today I feel extraordinarily blessed to have that community.