For each a song

More and more I think we are each born with one song. It may be a song that deepens and becomes more richly textured over time. It may start small and widen its span to tell a bigger story. It may shapeshift over the decades, weathered—or bolstered—by the passage of time. But it stays one song. Our song, dazzling and inimitable.

I think it's up to us find this song. Excavate it from our depths. Some of us can't help but sing the song. We chant and hum and whistle it every day, in the way we walk and the work we do when we get up in the morning and in the way we hug the people we love and say "goodnight." Others of us have more trouble, and we think we don't have a song. We see the song of others and think how beautiful it must be, and it can be moving or fill us with a deep sadness. Or we don't believe there is any song to be sung, no signature melody laying dormant within us, just the sounds we make by chance and by choice. 

The song is beautiful the way a child or a beloved pet is beautiful: with innocence, without trying, and in every moment, just because it exists. It is a song that cannot be compared to any other song; it's simply different. And the songs come together, if they would only be untethered, in a chorus of roaring symphony. The cacophony we fear our sounds will make is a myth; our many songs fit together perfectly, different though they are. That is how we know it is the right one: it is a pleasure to sing and to hear for all who surround us, a gift to the world that no one else can give. The wrong notes are not part of our song, but only parts we have heard elsewhere and try to imitate, but we do so imperfectly and off-key because no one can evoke the magic of another person's song.

And so we are placed here, alone, scared, full of curiosity. And we are given this song. We can tell that it is there, kicking or prodding at us from within. It will not falter but it can be muffled. But it is our task to discover it and draw it forth. And even then, we do not need to go very far. We don't even have to try. All we have to do is drop the weight of all the things that were standing between us and our song until at last: we hear ourselves sing.