Friday, September 5, 2008

Alison Blaire Strikes Back

Once upon a time, I used to sing all the time. Song was speech. We sang first thing in the morning at school during prayers and anthems. I sang at school. I sang at home. I sang to the music on TV, radio, and cassettes. I sang while setting the table and doing the dishes. I sang in my room and I sang very loudly in the shower. I sang all the time. Every untried trill in every new tune was a new word to add to my vocabulary. I wish I'd had training. Then I'd be able to learn more! Like the difference between learning a language at school or learning by ear. But I sang. I sang like David because there was no other way to be.

Then the quiet days came. There was no more song, no more writing, no more expression. The voice in my chest was suddenly shackled. Like someone was sitting on my chest, crushing it, waging war against it. My voice had no way to come out. There were things to say but no one who would listen, no one would believe. The voice bubbled fiercely screaming to come out, but because it was hurt, it would die before making its way out into the world. And so it withdrew underground, leaving in its place darkness, silence, and dust.

I looked for it everywhere. I looked for my voice but I couldn't find it. It had gone into hiding, leaving behind a rejected ruin where the stale breeze of my soul would carry with it the echo of tunes forgotten, torturing me. I called out, I looked everywhere, but it was gone. I hung my head and sat amongst the ruins, broken and defeated, resigned to the quiet suffocation.

The years passed.

Then a few weeks ago I had a dream where I was The Dazzler. Even after waking up I could feel the magnificient freedom of singing, light emanating from every being of me as I danced in space, light shooting out in all directions into the darkness. I spun, I twirled, my arms and my fingers swaying about like the phoenix soaring with the urgency of an inferno. Every atom of me was exploding with song, with light, like a brand new sun so eager to be alive. I desperately held onto that feeling as long as I could. It had been so long since I'd been in tune. I couldn't even breathe now.

But then yesterday, something happened. I felt a new vigour while singing along to my iPod in my car. Then I turned it off during one of the songs and felt the need to carry on singing without singing along. And I kept singing. I sang all the songs I'd forgotten. I sang of the glory of God, I sang of disappointment, I sang of love, I sang of patriotism, I sang of heartbreak, I sang of life, I sang of longing. I sang non-stop for a couple of hours even. The voice came back with such intensity, such power, the old words came back with richer meaning, it had to be sung. I sang like I'd never sung before. My lungs burst open and I could breathe my heart into every single word. I had to stand, I had to move. My arms and hands embraced my voice and fiercely pulled it out of the darkness into the new world, guiding it back step-by-step until it remembered how to soar free. My soul took flight, my vocal chords wept in harmony. Heaven breathed its fresh breeze into the ruins of my soul, and light banished the cobwebs into oblivion.

Free at last, free at last! Thank God Almighty, she's free at last!


flaneur said...

Hey Dazzler on the roof! were you one singing the loudest during school prayers? I used to wonder...!
- de

Khadija Ejaz said...

Heeeeeell yeah. So funny you noticed. Over time I snuck in and started singing on the PA system with the real choir. :D