I closed my eyes, swelled my stomach to store the air firmly, and sang. We were still only at the so-called global warming stage. The director is at the piano and leads us, from half a step to half step, to sing higher and higher. As I was still struggling with the last jolts of my cold, my voice clung to the cluttered walls of my larynx.
You can’t sing properly if the body isn’t at peace. You can’t sing just any more if the mind doesn’t free itself from its fears. So I closed my eyes. I could no longer see the director’s hand, so I could no longer obey his rhythm, I had to listen more to the rhythm of my companions. The experience is surprising. By lowering the shutters of consciousness, used to looking out the window, the body seems more animal, wilful, the slightest defects, the most minor hesitations, but also the full power of the voice is revealed.
The more I listened to this strange voice, which is nevertheless mine, coming from my body, the more I learned to bypass the labyrinths of my tensions. As a note passed, I suddenly observed this shard, like the glass breaking. The next time, I opened my mouth more, bent my head, let myself live and die to the sound, and the glass resisted.
We certainly cannot always close our eyes. These are the hands of our minds. The wise man will say that it is possible to close the eyelids without stopping looking. I think that’s what I did that evening, along with my fellow singers. A little later, I was convulsed up with a loud cough, but then my voice became clear, convincing, unfettered.
If I return to this choir year after year, it is because it allows this liberation. Learning and appropriating one’s voice is not easy. Professional singers spend hours polishing and amplifying the gears of this unique and fantastic instrument. And it is a miracle that we amateurs repeatedly see ourselves reach emotion. Nevertheless, the exercise is simple and accessible to all.
Our daily lives do not have to move away from the frugal experience of closing our eyes. While waiting for the bus, while cleaning up, while going to bed to move on to the other day, it is enough to look with your senses, to allow your conscience to explore without danger the unsuspected lands of this mechanism that keeps you alive.
Know yourself, and the sky will help you, get back in touch with your body and it will teach you. May your spirit be with you, and the dialogue that will follow will surely give birth to your savior.
Because we must not forget, the truth is not so much to silence his mind as to restore bridges between the many facets of his existence.
That evening, by closing my eyes and singing, I reached, even for a few moments, and without glory, this knowledge. May I always renew my life.