Thursday, February 17, 2011

Song Stories #11
The Journey of Being Known - and the story of the bent over woman

photography by Revival Art Studios
Today Shaw Cable is airing a segment on me, my career of teaching piano, and the journey into my own music.  I have watched the clip twice now before anyone else will see it.  Part of me is terrified for anyone to watch this.  The camera comes very close to my face - revealing all my imperfections!  If beauty is skin deep - then I want to run and hide!!!!  I've struggled often with my appearance ( as many of us do!) ....and it is intimidating to allow the public to come so close to me.  However, a comment has been ringing in my head that a close friend spoke to me last week:  ' Cathy, trust your presence.'  What kind words - and words that bring me back to truth - that it is our essence that we bring to each other and that is truly 'beautiful'.
To know our own inner 'beauty' is a difficult journey for most of us - it sure has been for me.  My inner heart has been 'bent over'.  One day when I was struggling in particular with my life and how my heart was feeling - I went deep into the woods of Mission for a walk.  I poured out my heart there.  And then I saw this big stick and felt compelled to take hold of it and walk with it.  As I walked with this stick, these words poured over me; 'Rise Up Woman- Rise UP'.  Wow - to be called to rise up - lift my face to the sky and stand tall - when I sure didn't feel like it!  But it was a call to me - and I had a choice in how to respond.  I have realized at times it is almost more comfortable to stay 'bent over'.  I am less visible there, I can allow self-pity there, I am not responsible there - I remain a victim.  When I lift my face up and stand tall - I take my place and bring my presence.  This is terribly frightening - to be fully present.  But I am learning it is also a great gift.  It is a gift to myself, to others and to the One who gave me breath.  To live small and bent over is to disregard the gift of Life that has been given.  To embrace this Life in me - means saying YES to being fully alive and allowing others to come close to that Life in me....and allowing you to see me on Shaw Cable!!!
You will see my imperfections - but hopefully you will also feel my 'presence'....which doesn't have an image factor value placed on it - which is incredibly freeing.

Here is an excerpt of the words to the song that is on the Love Shines album that came out of that experience in the woods;

Rise Up  (and it is the black soul woman in me who sang this song - you will see!)

when my heart was troubled, I went to the woods to pray
when my heart was troubled, I went to the woods to pray
In my darkness You sang to me - woman, I have set you free
Take off the chains of sorrow, remove the veil of fear
find you courage, find your strength
lift your voice and stand up straight - Rise, I'm calling you to rise

rise up woman, rise up
rise up woman rise
rise up woman, rise up
rise up woman rise

there is a Gospel story from Mark 13 where Jesus healed a woman who was 'bent over'. He broke all the social taboos by speaking to her, inviting her to stand with the men and also touching her.  I love, love, love this story and it has also become my story in this song.

1 comment:

Una said...

hi Cathy, thank you so very much for your new song, Rise Up. I can't wait to listen to it again. I was over at the Mark Center with my gfs this past weekend and Evy shared this song with us. The lyrics and your powerful voice moved me. It's like you know exactly what I have been going through. I am waiting for the day that I can Rise Up. Good luck on your new cd. Una