Saturday, March 12, 2011

"Sometimes I feel like a motherless child"

I took a singing class when I was in college. Gotta love American universities: you have to take some science, some math, some language, and some art. For the "some art" category, you can take photography, sculpting, acting, playing an instrument, singing... Well, at first I auditioned for a play, but got rejected because my accent was not Southern enough. In all honesty, it wasn't. It's never been. It never will--unless "Southern enough" suddenly means Southern like down in South America. In which case, given that Colombia is the first country in South America, is also not Southern enough (that would be Chile or Argentina, I guess). In any case, after being completely offended for a few hours, I read the whole play (not just the part I read at try-outs) and realized it was the story of three Southern sisters (GA girls) who had a very Southern  life. I understood then that it was impossible to "hire" a Latina (regardless of how accentless my English were) for a Southern part. It would be like hiring Julia Roberts to play a Latina or a Brit in a movie...

Anyway, my second choice was a voice class for beginners. In retrospective, it was awesome that I was not taken for the part in the play, because that class was an awesome experience. I've always thought I could sing. I was even encouraged in this belief when I was in middle- and high-school. I used to get picked to represent my class in the Song Festival. But, again, in retrospective, I kind of nominated myself because no one else wanted to do it. One year (maybe 10th grade?) my classmates actually said, "Give someone else a chance". I did (unwillingly, furiously), and though I had (have!) better stage prescence than did she, she did (does) sing much better than I ever did (will do). I'm not being nice nor polite. I'm being as honest as I can possibly be. I wonder if she reads my Blog... if she does (which I doubt), she will be surprised at my humility. She had no idea I had that. Neither did I. Humility, I mean.

OMG, anyway! I took this class. One of the songs we learned to sing was "Sometimes I feel like a motherless child". It's a nice song to sing, because you start out with a very low voice, and then slowly rise to your highest tone. However, the lyrics are so sad: Sometimes I feel like a motherless child // a long way from home; sometimes I feel like I'm almost gone // a long way from home. To me, these lyrics embody the greatest amount of sadness. What can be worse than being a motherless child? I cannot imagine. I don't want to. Being a long way from home is also terribly sad. Feeling gone--dead?--is another horrible feeling. And then, again, being a long way from home.

My sister always has awesome songs for the soundtrack of her life. Mary Poppins come up once in a while. I don't have a soundtrack. But, for some reason, whenever I'm feeling down, this song comes to my head. It does, really. I actually realize I'm sad because I hear myself singing (or humming) this song. It doesn't bring back any particular memory. It doesn't particularly remind me of anything. I just feel the sadness of the notes, the sadness escalating as the tone rises, the sadness of the lyrics...

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child.

A long way from home...

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