Finding Your own Voice: Do you remember the first time you heard your voice?
Years ago on Easter morning I got a tape recorder as a gift from my six older sisters. I was perhaps seven or eight years old. It was a big black and white rectangle with a microphone that plugged in. It came with cassette tapes that I could record on.
I wanted to record my voice and I was excited to hear it. I had this idea that I would tell stories or maybe interview people. It was something I had longed for for months, and there it was in our living room waiting for me with a big chocolate Easter bunny. I always ate the ears first.
I think now about wanting that tape recorder. It seems I wanted the same things then that I do now. I wanted to find my voice. I wanted to connect. It was on an Easter Sunday that I first heard my own voice, and I was puzzled by it. It was not the way I thought I sounded. It was not the way I imagined my voice to be. Other people sounded to me the way they sounded in real life, but my own voice was different.
It was the first time that I observed myself. That I heard or saw myself the way others might. It was the beginning of a profound lesson, one that was not fully realized until decades later. It is that what we feel and believe about ourselves may look and sound different to others.
It was years later again that I understood that this was okay.
Listening to the playback of my child's voice and hearing it as different than I imagined reminds me of my ongoing search for my own voice. It reminds me that perhaps even as a child I wanted to speak, that I wanted to share my story. We all have a voice and we have the opportunity in life to find it.
I remember also that after I had that tape recorder for a while I did not use it very much because I did not know what to do with it. It was a powerful tool but mostly it just sat there while I played kick the ball, and ran down to collect rocks off the beach. And so that tape recorder lost its power. It did not enchant me anymore.
The power of our tools grow with use. The power of our voice grows because we speak. The power of our hook grows because we use it.
My hook is my most expressive tool. Writing to you each week has helped me understand my own story. It has helped me curate my own voice. Just as sitting to hook has helped me find my way in the world.
Like me with my little tape recorder, when we first start to use our own voice sometimes we do not recognize it as our own. My first rugs are very different from the rugs I make now. They were not what I wanted them to be but they were what they were. Accepting them for what they were let me move on and keep making.
My hook lets me make peace with myself. It gives me time to explore my own voice. Not just with the finished rugs as a form of self expression but in the time I spend making them. In that time I get to think, to sort things out. To remember, and sometimes when necessary to forget. It is the process that I value. It is both nurturing and deepening.
I go to my frame for solace, for wonder, for strength, and for comfort. Making art is an act of hope. When you go to your frame all these things are waiting for you too.
Finding your voice is one of the most powerful things you will ever experience, and to think it can be done just by making. The idea that it is not what you make, that it is not the thing itself, but the just the fact that you make is enough to find your voice is a marvel to me. It was a long time after first hearing the playback of my voice on that tape recorder that I came to realize this.
Your story, your life, that special energy that only you have is worth the time. You'll learn just by showing up. You will grow just because you moved hand over hand and gave yourself time to think, time to be, time to bloom.
My search for my own voice is ongoing. From first hearing it, it has remained a bit elusive, something slightly outside of myself. Still I try to connect with it because for me it makes my life richer, kinder, deeper.
And life is precious.
And in quietly celebrating Easter I feel even more connected to life because it is a season so much about hope and renewal and spirit.
And I wish you blessings this morning.
Thank you for reading, for supporting my work, and your kind words.
PS. I left the sale on Colour School for today as I was so late sending out the notice yesterday and we always have a few latecomers. I will take it off tonight
PPS. Thick and thin Slubby yarn is back in stock. This yarn was out of stock all winter and sometimes we have trouble getting it. Order here
- Angela Davis