Sunday, April 02, 2006

IF - Spring & Sunday Scribblings

Illustration Friday - Spring

I was struggling to think what to draw this week for "Spring" until after I'd written my Sunday Scribblings. Where its clear that today, at least, I wish I was a lark or other songbird...

And for those of you who commented last week on my monster blot - I've put up an interpretation.




Sunday Scribblings have started and the first prompt is:


What would you attempt if you knew you would not fail?


I'd fly - like superman without the cape though - I'd love to just fly. I fly in my dreams and it brings me to strange lands but I'm more interested in the sheer joy of flying.

I'd fly to see all my friends and, if I knew I would not fail, I'd teach them all to fly too.

To fly without wings
To fly without things
To fly


What else?

I'd sing. Now that's a big one for me. I love to sing but not to be heard.

I've had too much bad press, poor reviews, even from cats.

But when I sing my heart really does have wings.

I have attempted all sorts of different ways of singing. I've chanted. I've practised overtoning. I've been on courses where I have to sing. All to no avail. I still get the concerned looks and bad press...

It all started when I was a little one singing in a school carol practice and the headmaster, Mr Curtois, noticed someone was singing off-key and the finger was pointed at me. I was so enthusiastic that I tried and tried...

The next finger to point at me was from my Brown Owl she said I couldn't sing in tune when we were practising carols.... but worst of all was one of the days when I'd just started comprehensive... I was called up by the music teachers to stop for an audition after assembly.... it turned out that one of my mother's friends was a locally famous singer and my mother had asked her to put in a good word for me and my music abilities at my new school... the audition was one of those hellish moments where you see people's faces turning from happily expecting to have found themselves a new soloist to wondering how they are going to mask this child's wail when she insists on singing in class!

So now maybe you wonder why my mother did this? Well I don't know! At the time I was doing well enough playing violin and recorder. But I took no exams even though I was playing grade 5 music - was I really any good at all? I don't know. My violin teacher heard me playing the piano and said I had a good hand at it. So I swapped. I bet he sighed in relief... My piano teacher was horrid and I wished I hadn't swapped. She even convinced me that I had no sense of rhythm too and after that my recorder playing went downhill - the kind teacher who organised our Renaissance Recorder group tried to help me pick up the rhythm again and started to stand behind me and gently acted like a metronome tapping me on my shoulder... all this did though was reinforce the idea that I had no sense of music.

So if I knew I would not fail I'd take back the joy of making music and not care whether or not I'm in time or singing off-key - I'd lose my self-consciousness of all this past history of upset and just go back to the joy.

And if Mr Nomad reads this he may now understand why I don't like talking about music....

40 comments:

Laini Taylor said...

Ooh, I wish I could sing too. I feel like if I could sing and dance that the whole may I move through life would be different, more bold and beautiful and rhythmic and alive. I could try to improve in those areas, knowing I would never be more than adequate, but I don't... there are so many other things to do! I enjoyed finding your blog, so glad you participated in Scribblings!

Bearuh said...

cute birdy

chest of drawers said...

Your words on flying reminded me of dreams I used to have - I could swim through the air really fast and it felt fantastic! I´m sure this was a symbol for something deep and meaningful but I never found out.
I can sing - even though people tried to convince me otherwise too when I was small. I just sang louder because it´s my nature to be cheeky. I´m sure that anyone could sing if they are encouraged and it´s never too late so let that voice out!

GoGo said...

I agree that its best to fly without the cape. It could get caught on something like in an airplane engine. No thanks. I wish self-flight were possible. I'd never be on the ground then. Singing I do, even though I am on the lesser end of suck. But singing is a song.

See you in the skies. I appreciated your piece very much. ~GoGo

Jane said...

I used to dream I was falling to my death when I was a little girl.
It was always terrifying, and I would wake in a sweat.
One night as the dream began I decided I was going to die anyway so why not enjoy the freedom of the fall......
it was then as I let go that I learnt to fly.
I never had the dream again.


BTW I work in Bristol!
Small, small world.

zinkibaru said...

Ah, you are always associated with birds in my mind.

I like your smiling music too :)

Shannon (Sentimental) said...

Now that is something I have always wanted to do ya know. To just be a singer, I suck at it. I have no doubt sometimes I hear myself singing and I am like ack!

That was a beautiful post. I loved it.

beansprout said...

Great post! I'd love to fly and I mentioned singing in my post as well. Oh...to have a beautiful voice (I don't)! Be well.

andrea said...

Caroline, I was completely absorbed by your 'music lesson.' Thanks for sharing a slice of your childhood. As for the picture, the notes twinkle so much that I'd love to see you do something more with that idea.

marc said...

Hello Caroline,
It's the spring and the bluebird sing...
Great idea!I love the blue!
Nice week

aynaku said...

another beatiful post...
ah, the glamour of spring!!!
:)

aynaku said...

another beatiful post...
ah, the glamour of spring!!!
:)

janey said...

That is soo adorable. I love those notes.

Joy Eliz said...

I love the musical faces. Great illo!
Also, very interesting the different interpretations of monster.

Caroline said...

Wow - lots of comments from new people - thank you so much for visiting, reading and commenting.

Laini - maybe you are pointing to where I should start - if I were to concentrate on movement rather than sound... that would be a different place to be coming from. Thank you.

Bearuh - thanks! It is singing without worrying about a thing!

Chest of Drawers - so your method of flying is more like swimming - sounds fishy! ;-) I haven't given up singing... I sing to myself quite often... its singing where others can hear that is hard. Glad you are happy to sing no matter what!

Gogo - you are right - capes are dangerous things - worst is when they blow over your face so you can't see where you are going... I don't think I've yet flown near any engines... Glad you are singing too. Thank you for your appreciation.

Jane - I learnt to fly in a similar way - I was always plummeting down a hill into a gooseberry patch. Nice to meet another Bristol blogger!

Zinkibaru - you are perceptive - birds are important to me and have often brought me messages... Glad you noticed the smile!

Shannon (sentimental) - Thank you. I wonder if there is a singer inside us all... even if its one that rarely gets out...

Beansprout - I'll be over to read your post soon - I'd settle for a voice that was in tune... ;-)

Andrea - thanks - glad you liked my smily notes... they insisted on being put in despite my worry that they were "too cute"... tee hee...

Marc - yes I didn't explain that part did I - glad you made the connection!

Aynaku - Thank you - yes there is a glamour to spring and today its not raining so far more evident here!

Janey - thank you, thank you!

Joy Eliz - thanks - I was surprised at how many different things people saw but also the groupings that emerged anyway.

TXArtcGal said...

Such a happy illustration! LOVE the color you chose for your bird...and, those musical notes are cute! :)

albina said...

I know that feeling! Thanks for sharing the horrors of misguided parental promptings and struggles of spirit. We all can sing, some of us just don’t do it with our voice… and I found I can serenade while washing my dishes, and they don’t care.

Caroline said...

Txartcgal - thank you - the bird within me that sings is happy! And I'd like listeners to hear the happiness in the notes even when they are off-key... ;-)

Albina - I too have my best singing whilst doing the housework... ;-)

Janet said...

Love your blue bird, Caroline! I'm struggling with the topic, too. Don't know if I will pull anything out of my hat this week. As for flying, my whole family are fliers in our sleep.It's interesting to compare the different ways we get up in the air....some swim,some run like a plane and take off, some jump off of something tall....we are a goofy bunch!
As for singing,I identify too....I've mentioned before, I love to sing....when I'm alone!

modroom said...

I followed the sound of wonderful singing, but I've ended up here instead. Maybe it's the bird I can hear, and not that strange thing in my ear! Your bird is happy but might bump into a cloud if it dos'nt watch where going. Thank you for naming me a love monster, is there a certificate with that?

megg said...

I wish I could sing too. I even used to be in musical theatre every year when I was a teenager. I always wanted to be the lead but I usually made the chorus - I had enough personality to be on stage - but not to be heard singing!! I hope that you do sing happily someday - I'm sure you are really very good!! (There's always the Sesame Street mantra: It doesn't matter if you're not good enough for anyone else to hear - just sing, sing a song!)

Caroline said...

Janet - perhaps you need an Easter bonnet to pull something out of? I love that there are so many ways to fly - I used to jump out of windows but retrained myself in case I should ever try it when I wasn't asleep!

Modroom - a certificate? Hmm... maybe there will be... I'll think about that. Sorry about the squawking...

Megg - strangely I think something may have shifted... I did try a journey to refind my voice and after it I sang to myself today and it sounded rather good - but it made my foot hurt so badly I couldn't walk... odd I know but its deinitely a different reaction! Maybe I'll just need to wait a bit for it all to integrate... I will post an update if there is anything to report.

Tony LaRocca said...

Little do those innocent notes know that the bird is about to gulp em down! Music is yummy!

ValGalArt said...

aaahhh this is sad and sweet! I taught kids art in public and private school and a lot of them said they were told they were good at one thing and not another, like you are good at math and not at art so forever they felt and thought I am not good at art! so traumatic... I hope that you can sing your heart out when no one is around because when you sing it makes you high! The endorphins that are released make you feel real swell! I love your illo and your tender story!!!

andrea said...

Wonderful illo especially with your words of flying. I had no idea you were such a brilliant writer to boot! Love it all!!
Excellent.
a.

Roz Foster said...

I can't hear anything through this silent screen, but you sing beautifully with your drawing hand.

Thanks for the heads up on Rachel Pollack's tarot deck, etc. Her work is very direct, uber-feminine, primitive in an homage kind of way--lots of earthy creator goddess images.

Perhaps draw a card on your face-off with music . . . .

aynaku said...

cra, cra, cra, a crow screaming! Thanx for your comment!
PS
is this a blue crow?
:)

Nan said...

Shame on all those adults who squashed your beautiful music! Love your bluebirds singing a spring tune. I hope you can find a way to sing at the top of your lungs and love it!

Holly said...

Great post Caroline. Takes me back to my early music lessons.

Caroline said...

Tony - you are right - that's probably how the bird sings so well - had great diet of happy notes...

Valgalart - I know we all find it hard to avoid accepting the labels others stick on us - especially over our mouths!

Andrea - thank you (*blushes*)...

Roz - thank you - I went one better and did an ecstatic trance position - seems to have helped too!

Nan - I doubt any of them thought they were squashing me - I suspect to them I was an irrepressible child who needed putting in her place... and I have always smiled despite the hurt which isn't a good way of letting others know what's going on...

Holly - thanks - I hope you came out of yours better than I did from mine.

carla said...

Caroline - this is just so full of joy! Even the notes vare happy! Singing...it would be wonderful to be able to really sing and have it come out strong and true....alas.

HoBess said...

This is so honest and terrific. Why, do you suppose, some teachers have a knack for making students seem like such a bother? For me it was my mom who said I couldn't sing. She made me stand with her and "aim" my voice at hers too many times to count. Torture. She would let go of my wrists, usually with a tisk. I would go to my room, turn on the soundtrack from Footloose and sing as loud and as long as I wanted! Just keep singing ... and drawing! I love this illustration.

Caroline said...

Carla - thanks - I'm hoping it will come true now.

Hobess - that sounds frightening! I wouldn't like to be made to aim my voice like that or to have it aimed at me either!

Reluctant Nomad said...

I had a similar experience in primary school where we were practicing various folk songs in different languages for a school play. My favourite teacher's husband was coaching us. Quite early on in the practice, he singled me out for not being able to hold the tune. I tried my best after that but was quite unable to satisfy him.

It was mortifying!

I'd love to be able to belt out a song and know that I'd not be upsetting all those around me.

Jaimie said...

I love your sweet little happy lark. So cheerful and colorful!

Caroline said...

Reluctant Nomad - a favourite teacher's husband oh dear even more influential then ;-(

Jaimie - thank you - it took on sky colour so it could hide if no-one likes its song ;-)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Would you forgive me if I laugh? Y'see, I have a friend this happened to, and we all LAUGHED when she told us, she too.

She can't sing even today but she belts out the tunes, anyway.

Go ahead, belt 'em out, Caro, sinnnngggg.

Lori Witzel said...

Pardon while I chime in on the chorus -- I llllooooovvvee this post!

I can't carry a tune, even if it was put into luggage. But I still sing in the car at the top of my lungs!

Caroline said...

GG - I'm going to be giving singing a proper go again - definitely!

Lori - now that's a good place to sing... I've been in the habbit of listening to stories whilst driving maybe its time for something to sing along too...

Catnapping said...

this illustration is wonderful to me. just looking at it puts me in a happier mood.