Song: An internal massage

I am the daughter of a singer.

My father would sing at the drop of a fall leaf. He had a voice that everyone loved. He sang at church. He sang at Kiwanis Club meetings. He sang around the campfire at our cabin.

But I don’t remember him singing at home.

I grew up singing before I could talk. According to family legend, I sang in my crib. I sang in my sandbox (sandboxes were for children then). I sang myself to sleep.

And then I stopped.

I don’t know when or why but I stopped singing at home.

I still sang in the church children’s choir but that was all.  And I wanted to be old enough to sing in the adult choir. With my dad. But I had to get to high school first. And when I did I felt like I was part of the real world.

But I stopped singing just for me. I stopped singing a song that was just in my head.

Fast forward several lifetimes…I started going to a church just to sing. That led to singing with a women’s performance choir.

It was fun but there was no sense of belonging for me. I could take it or leave it.

Then my daughter introduced me to the San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts Ensemble. I knew I had to sing with them. The desire was so strong that I moved my legal practice (and my spouse!) to San Luis Obispo County. (OK, there were other reasons as well, but this was the underlying one.)

In 2006, I auditioned.

I was terrified. I had no formal training. I hadn’t sung with a classical group. I COULD read music, so that was a plus. The terror came from having to sing a solo song, a cappella, to the director.

Give that a little thought. This guy has more talent in his little finger than I have in my entire being. He knows music. He eats, drinks, and sleeps music. He knows a lot of songs. What do I sing? It has to make my voice sound really good and it has to be something short so I don’t forget the words.

Rewind. A year or so before the audition, I had gone to a Holly Near concert. Her voice was way above my range (and my abilities) but she sang a song that was MY song. It rang in my ears and in my soul. It touched who I had been and who I had become.

Holly Near sang Mountain Song.

And when she finished she said, “I love to sing. It is like, well, and internal massage.”

I sang Mountain Song at my audition.

2015-07-23 11.57.34

VAE Ladies of the Fan, Florence, Italy 2015

For twelve years I have had the joy and privilege of singing with a group that is family. A group where I belong.

For twelve years, on Tueday nights and at every VAE concert, I get that internal massage. It centers me. It calms me. It helps to make me whole.





Categories: Auditions, Family, Holly Near, Prompt, Singing, song, Uncategorized, Vocal Arts Ensemble


  1. I was struck by realizing the similarity of singing and music to weaving. Up and down the scale in pattern; across the loom in design. Communication in words and song. Beauty in color, pattern and texture. You give and experience joy in your chosen artistic expressions, made even more beautiful in the sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Karen. Sometimes it just has to go out to the Universe!


  3. I liked both your posting of the youtube with Holly Near singing and your choral group singing. Wonderful. Also this is a great story of rediscovery of self.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am beginning to see that we are constantly being rediscovered. Maybe we just morph a lot! Vocal Arts has given me a lot of hope of late. I can’t wait for our tour of Spain in October.


  5. I have reposted a youtube of Holly Near singing “Singing for Our Lives” with a reference to your website on my facebook feed. I don’t go there much, but have a quite a few followers. Some I like to antagonize with singers like Holly, but there are others who will enjoy her very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Can I find you under your name or under writelee?
    I am under Gael Gisvold Mueller

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Can’t find you. Probably operator error!!


  8. last name only has one “n”.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I changed a setting. Try again!


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