The singer ~ A tale of pencils and notes.

Alex Baisley
6 min readFeb 12, 2023
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I’d like you to imagine an incredible singer. A jaw-droppingly astonishing singer. It would make parts of you melt inside when you hear her. It would bind other parts of you back together that you hadn’t even known were broken. Her voice would travel right through you, making your body thrum, and your day better.

If only you did.

Hear her, I mean.

Because, her music doesn’t yet exist.

She has no idea she’s a singer.

And if you feel that ‘absence and loss’ in yourself just now, hearing about her, this is what she has felt inside every day since she can remember, without knowing why. A feeling of…

Being… off. Like something fundamental is missing. And not knowing what it is.

She feels out of step, and frequently out of place in the world. Her life has been good. A couple of tragedies earlier in her life, yes, loved ones dying too soon have left scars, but she has gone on to have a pretty decent life by and large. She smiles at everyone. She is most people’s favourite person to have around — she’s just so…. ‘positive.’

And yet, something doesn’t feel right to her. Life feels… sort of thin. In an ‘is this all there is?’ way. Even her relationship with her husband and two boys seems (scarily-to-her) a touch superficial. She knows there is deep love there — that’s not the issue — but it rather feels like something is missing inside her that she can’t put her finger on.

Her throat is tight. Often. She struggles to know what to say in a lot of family situations, but she has stood up for herself at work and excelled in her career. She will share her great ideas powerfully when required, which has led to a senior position at the hospital. She can make stuff happen, and does. She also doesn’t mind putting people in their place, when they get pushy, but has an exceptional ability to do it kindly.

Although she’d never considered herself an artist of anything — except maybe of getting stuff done — she noticed a book at the coffee shop bookstore she’d normally not have paid attention to. It kept winking out at her from the nearby shelf as she waited in the queue to order her lunchtime cappuccino. Something about creativity. For artists she presumed.

Take-away cup pleasantly warm in her hand, she went over to check the book out. She was accustomed to following her inner nudges, which often guided her well. There was some reason this book was grabbing her attention. She assumed probably the ‘nudge’ was because of her son’s birthday next month. He was working hard at his art, and his charcoal drawings were getting incredible. Reading the back cover, this book had a great feeling to her. Perfect.

She bought it.

Sitting in the kitchen later that night, when everyone’s chores were done and her ‘boys’ were happily watching the big game on tv, she opened the book again.

As she leafed through its pages, she found herself mysteriously attracted to it. It seemed to have a lot to do with journaling. Exploring your thoughts. The questions were intriguing.

She took a sip from her mug of herbal tea, then reached for the yellow legal pad on the table, and her son’s pencil sitting beside it. The game in the next room would go on for a couple of hours, and she could barely keep straight what sport it even was. ‘They’ll be entertained for a good while,’ she smiled.

Holding the book open with her left hand, she looked at the first journaling exercise, and… began to…

Write.

Scarcely aware of the spell that was coming over her, the page began to fill. The gentle sound of pencil on paper was strange, soothing, and appealed to her.

She wrote, and she wrote. Words just seemed to flow. When she reached the bottom of the page, she flipped it over the top of the pad and stood up to boil the kettle. Standing at her kitchen window looking out at the dark and her own reflection, waiting for the kettle’s click, she sharpened the pencil.

She wrote about the colour of her favourite tree, tried to describe what sunlight looks like streaming through green leaves, and the sound a small fish makes when it breaks the surface of a stream. A world of sensory intimacy… or immediacy… wrapped itself around her body there in the kitchen, like a comforting blanket against her skin.

She journaled every day for weeks, and couldn’t wait to get back at it. Something had changed. As her pages filled and flipped over the top of the pad, she felt like she was waking up in a way she didn’t know she’d been asleep. Colours, sounds, laughter… everything around her was feeling richer, deeper, more interesting. She felt more engaged, and less skimming across the surface of her days. Something like the simple sound of a bird singing from the telephone wire would now catch her attention and she’d smile — wondering how she would describe it later. It was as if things she saw, heard, touched, and even thought were vibrating with a sort of brightness she couldn’t perceive before.

It was on the heels of this that some weeks later she found herself suddenly saying ‘yes’ to a group of women she’d often been invited to join who explored different workshops and experiences together.

And that’s how she ended up, with this new group of friends…

At a singing lesson.

She couldn’t sing very well of course, at first. ‘why is my throat always so tight?’ she wondered.

And yet… the handful of notes she could manage to get out — and the unexpected feel of the vibration in her chest — made her eyes tear up. With some kind of joy, or grief, or… something. It wasn’t sadness, it was… longing? For more of that vibration? She didn’t know what was happening.

As the workshop went along, she sang again, and again, all the while flummoxed as to why she was feeling such surprising emotion. She tried to keep it hidden as best she could, but it was getting harder to hold in.

Her friends were enjoying and giggling at their own singing attempts (not quite noticing her struggle yet, thankfully) when the teacher had them begin the next song. As they broke into the first verse of ‘Hey Jude’… the world went silent and out-of-focus around her. A time warp. She could still feel the lingering vibration from her last note in her chest. Even her throat seemed, for once, to relax. She had no words in her mind, only… a feeling that… she was home.

She was home.

She gently and with great focus pressed air through her vocal chords again and again, and the notes came out… getting more confident, and louder as she went. She could almost see the sound of her voice in the air around her, and she felt it in her whole body. She smiled at her unskillfulness — her voice wavered, crackled a little bit — and yet even the edges of it were soothing to her… like that pencil sound had been on the paper. Her eyes closed as she began to belt out the chorus.

When she reached the last line, she suddenly became aware that her friends had stopped singing, and were all looking at her. The teacher was smiling.

She was a singer. And she never knew it.

Hope you enjoyed the story! You can read my book, “Tamara & the Taverna Keeper” right here on my homepage, if you’d like👇

Alex Baisley

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Alex Baisley

Commercial diver turned Reiki Master then founder of the Big Dream Program: I’m here: https://www.bigdreamprogram.com