For quite a few years I was a member of a band called “Twist of Faith” which was a rock/soul/gospel/alternative music band that played at my church. I sang back up vocals, lead vocals, and played some percussion (tamborine mostly). We did a CD, we started working on a second one (including a song that I wrote) but I believe that one is hanging in limbo at this point.
At any rate, for a variety of reasons I decided I could not keep up the rehearsals and performance schedules (we did a lot of performing outside of church, too), and I let go of it. It was a really hard choice. I love singing.
A few members of the band broke off and formed an actual band that is gaining quite a bit of fame locally. They are called “The Sister Wives” and they are a rockin’ blues all-girl band. (http://www.myspace.com/sisterwives) They are amazing! Just about the time I left Twist of Faith they were talking about a band, and I mentioned I might think about it down the road, but I let it go. Probably better. They are a perfect combination of musicians and I wouldn’t have fit nicely anywhere.
But a few days ago I got a call from the music director of that church. Mind you, I have not attended church there in about three years. I’m on a bit of a spiritual journey that is still shaping itself. Anyway, the musical director called. She said she had heard that I sang, and that they were forming a new band at church, and would I be interested in singing with them? My heart jumped! A chance to sing again? Wow! That was almost too good to be true. Of course, shortly thereafter reality set in. First, beginning in October I’ll be working two jobs, teaching at two different colleges. Second, I am actively involved in an organization called Eastern Star (it’s affiliated with the Masons, if that makes sense) and in November, I will take over as the highest elected officer for my chapter. Third, my kids are all active in lessons, activities, and organizations of their own. And fourth, I’d like to spend at least one day out of the week with my husband, and Sundays are the only option.
If I’m brutally honest, there is a fifth reason: I don’t really belong to that church anymore. In fact, I don’t really belong to any church right now because there isn’t a church of any organized type that reflects my spiritual beliefs. The Unitarians come close, but having attended the one closest to me, I can tell it’s not the right place for me.
So I turned down the chance to sing, making polite excuses (valid excuses) about being too busy to make any other commitments right now, but leaving the door open to something in that vague and nebulous place called “the future.”
And that was hard.
I love singing. I’ve been singing for a long time, and being given an opportunity like that – well, it was really hard to say no. But I did. And I’m sad. I think part of the problem is that I have had a strong connection between my spirituality and my singing, and the fact that I am struggling with one causes me some stress with the other. I’m not satisfied with singing to the radio or doing karaeoke (a friend once told me “Those who can, do, those who can’t, karaeoke,” and it’s stuck with me). One of my new challenges (gosh, that list is long) may be finding a way to get this expression of connection back into my life in a meaningful way. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t involve a band right now.