Music and friendship.
As I write these words, I’m listening to my “Umi Says” Pandora station. Smooth, old school hip-hop accompanies me while I answer email and fulfill other professional commitments. There’s something hot chocolate and cinnamon kinda delicious about adding a lazy shoulder and hip sway to my work environment while thinking about national organizing strategy and statewide agricultural policy.
Friendship and music intersect with my signing partner, Christopher. We’re both the children of strong familial musical legacies. When we met, we connected around the tender, sometimes fearful, always transcendent way we approach our voices. For years now, we’ve met weekly to support each other in our song. So much nourishes me about our music. He is one of the most important people in my life. We have seen each other through marriage, heartbreak, and life change, while chronicling the whole journey through song.
Today, we spoke about our mutual friend in hospice (the one I mentioned yesterday, who’s also a dear friend of Christopher’s). The sweetest riff came through me to begin our composition, and I was holding our friend in my mind as I sang. After Christopher contributed a few harmonies, I added lyrics about looking into my friend’s eyes, seeing the sky, and saying goodbye. I cracked wide open. I let the hacking sobs roll through my body as the music finished with us. Both of us were speechless when the song was finished. It was a lullaby, a prayer, an intention to honor the life of someone we love. Our music becomes more like ceremony as we become more committed to our vulnerability.