My biggest fear (besides losing the ones I love most - the fear we do not speak of) is:

Singing in front of people.

I love to sing. Really, I do. I sing all day long, but never in front of anyone. I like choirs because I can disappear into a sea of voices while still singing my controlled heart out. I sang one solo in high school. It was the last concert my senior year. (I was in a show choir called Young Spirit back them.) I knew it was now or never. My song of choice: Someone to Watch over Me by Gershwin (and Gershwin, you know, George and Ira).

I was knee-shaking terrified, but I did it. I always think about what I would sing if ever I had the chance again. It's the Napolean Dynamite dancing-on-the-stage moment that everyone secretly dreams of - when everyone figures out how seriously awesome you are for just being you.

The song inevitably changes based on what I'm thinking about at any given stage in life. Today I think it would be Words by Ryan Adams:

If everything you want is something you couldn't have

Go outside a while, look up and count the clouds

Can you draw a picture of the backyard of the house

You grew up in, can you remember how it smelled?

Don't worry up your mind

People are sick and mean sometimes

They're only words

They're only words

If everybody's grateful, how come nobody's satisfied - [my favorite line]

If a tree falls in the woods and there ain't no one around

If you heard it you could go over and whittle out a wishing box

You could write her name on something and put it inside

Don't worry up your mind

People are sick and mean sometimes

Don't worry up your mind

They're only words

Its only words

Its only words

And then there's the running list that I go back and forth on, give or take a few:

Little Boxes by Malvina Reynolds

20,000 seconds by K's Choice

Sweet Lorraine by Patty Griffin

Samson by Regina Spektor

Flight by Craig Carnelia (perhaps my soul's most favorite song)

Blowin' in the Wind by Bob Dylan

Top of the World - Dixie Chicks/Patty Griffin

Beside You by Michael Kamen (as a duet with Jake)

Lay my Burden Down by Caroline Herring

Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen (Oh how I love Rufus Wainwright singing this)

O Holy Night by Adolphe Adam/Placide Cappeau/John Sullivan Dwight (because what closet diva doesn't imagine busting this one out? Especially this time of year.)

Of course, in this dream, I'm always barefoot, and almost always playing guitar myself. Which means I should learn how to play guitar. Back in the days of my youth, I was always barefoot and playing piano, but when you marry a piano player, it's more fun/romantic to imagine him accompanying me.

Maybe someday this dream will be so powerful that it makes all this fear go away for good. Shrivel up and die, you fear, shrivel up and die.


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