Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, March 4, 2011

Why I Sing

My parents fought, pretty much all the time. Mostly, it was bickering back and forth. But often, it was out and out yelling. Studies show that parental conflict is detrimental to small children. My way of coping was to close the door to my room, sit on the floor, and play my 45's, singing along with Patsy Cline, The Everly Brothers, The Ronettes, The Crystals, and many, more. Singing not only blocked out the shouting, but it did something to my soul - something I didn't understand until recently.

Over the years, singing became a constant in my life. In my first marriage, one of the only good things that my husband and I shared, was singing along with The Beatles when we got together with other friends. We even had a name for ourselves - the Dippos.

I am never in my car without singing along to the radio. And now I'm in heaven with Sirrius Satellite radio - so many choices - there is almost always a good song to listen to. Plus, my Ford Fusion Hybrid allows me to download cd's right into the car's computer, so I have hundreds of my favorite tunes at my disposal.

In 2006, I fell off my bike and fractured my right ankle in seven places. The emergency room doctor, when I asked about the X-ray results, said, "If you were a horse, we'd put you down." I was down for the count for several months and it took over a year before I could walk without pain. Dancing was out of the question, and for those of you who have been following this blog for awhile, you know I am a folkdancer.

One day, during the long recovery period, the course catalog for adult education courses came from University of New Mexico. There was a singing class offered and I signed up. It literally changed my life. To find out how, tune in to Monday Musings.

Is there something you've decided to do that had a huge impact on your life?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's awesome that out of something bad came something really good. There's something to be said about music and what it does for the soul, because picking up the guitar brought me a lot of peace.

Joanne said...

I love reading of your musical roots, and understanding song's hold on your heart. I found a comfort in music back in my high school days, and it's amazing how that comfort stays with us long after the turmoil might be gone. To this day, music has the ability to stop me in my tracks and awe me with its power.

Jules said...

Singing has never been my thing, no voice, really! But I agree with Alex, good from bad and picking up the guitar. I also took ballroom dancing for awhile, loved it but they said I had an extra step :) Imagine that dancing to your own beat.
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Karen Walker said...

Alex, I would love to hear you play some day. I love getting together with friends with instruments and singing.
Joanne, it was your request that got me posting about this - thank you!
Jules, ha, dancing to your own beat - love it!

Julie Musil said...

It's amazing how music gave you comfort when you needed it, and that it inspires you. I love belting out a great country song when I'm in the car (alone or not :D) Good luck with your singing class. It sounds like a lot of fun!

For me, writing was something I finally decided to take seriously. It's changed my life for the better.

Anonymous said...

I'm not used to reading blogs that share this kind of personal stuff, but I think it's very brave of you to share and encouraging to others to read. After my mother's tragic death, I started taking bagpipe lessons (a lifelong dream) and played with a pipe band for about a year. It was one of the craziest and most rewarding things I've ever done! have a great weekend! (found you at Tossing it Out)

Rosalind Adam said...

Music is so therapeutic. I always sing along to the radio as I drive. I don't have such a sophisticated car as yours but there's always a CD in the drive in case BBC Radio 2 fails to please. I can remember rows at home too, and playing my record player in my room, Cliff Richard and the Everlys mainly. Well done for joining that singing class. I'd love to do that but haven't yet plucked up enough courage.

Karen Walker said...

Julie, seems the writing and singing are connected for me, somehow. One feeds the other. Both are passions in my life.
Bluepurpleandscarlett, so glad you found solace in music at a difficult point in your life. Music has always been healing for me.
Rosalind, yippee, another closet singer, and one across the pond. Hello! I forgot about Cliff Richard - loved him.


Arlee Bird said...

Thank you for sharing this story. It's good when we can defeat something destructive by doing something that benefits our soul and ourselves.

After my last divorce I met a woman who loved to sing. We were both rather shy, and though I wanted to sing I was always afraid to do so in public. She and I started singing and eventually started singing duets in church and other places.

We eventually broke up and I stopped singing after that. But I wouldn't mind finding someone to sing with again sometime.

Keep singing and keep following your dreams.

Tossing It Out