Sunday, August 9, 2009

Voice



Here in the North Country, the woods and lakeshore are full of voices, if you know how to listen. The chipmunks, crows, frogs, and even the owls and coyotes all have their say.  Their voices tell their lives in a preordained way, the product of an inexorable pull toward evolutionary fate.

We're not so lucky that our very essence is foretold in this way since birth.  Or are we luckier?  That we are allowed to find our voice or maybe to invent it, and when we lose it to find it again and reinvent it, in as many incarnations, as many times and in as many ways as we please.

Perhaps "invention" is the wrong choice, though, at least for me, for it suggests duplicity, and I am guilty of everything under the sun save untruth.

Since I started writing here, two years ago, here and in the corporeal world I and my voice have been a work-in-progress, and it hasn't always been pretty.  I've been maudlin and quarrelsome, arch and egotistical.  I laugh at my own jokes, too often.  But my voice has always held some form of a truth about myself. 

My sister can't even look at this journal, for her horror at my utter lack of propriety; a dear friend who does read this says that I conceal more than I reveal; and Sarge said the other day, fondly or so I imagine, "Leah, you really are just a little bit of an exhibitionist, aren't you."  I suppose he's not wrong, in a way.  Then again, neither is my friend.  But somewhere in that vast and comprehensive region between exhibition and concealment may be found all the ever-changing bits and pieces that make up my voice, and there I am.





"Yukon Raven," by Gavatron, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

27 comments:

Baino said...

Indeed here you are and I'm very pleased about that. I think there's a little exhibitionism in every blogger otherwise we'd all keep our thoughts to ourselves. Thank goodness we don't. My mornings wouldn't be the same without a blog catchup!

savannah said...

well, i'm glad you're here, sugar! you are a treasure. xoxo

otin said...

I have not read your blog all that long, but from what I have read, I like the voice that I hear!

underOvr (aka The U) said...

Hi Leah,

"Perhaps "invention" is the wrong choice, though, at least for me, for it suggests duplicity..."

I can only speak for myself but I do recognize a kind of duality of personalities. The reality is (as Popeye would say), "I am what I am".

I am a friend to those who are friendly and a stranger to those who are not. My bloodline links me to some and my passion for living with others. There are so many facets to one's life they defy categorization.

I hate being defined solely by my ethnicity and yet many place so much emphasis on it. I use to wonder how it would feel to be seen as just ________. That hasn't happened but it's not something I need to satisfy myself.

Part of my growth now has been relinquishing the need for definition; gaining an appreciation that things are just not that important anymore, people are.

I believe growth enables us to keep evolving; helping us become better than we were.

I haven't read your blog that long but I've found your writing honest, insightful and sincere. You've opened a door to your life, marriage and family. I imagine those who know you appreciate the person you are.

U

The Unbearable Banishment said...

I'm very careful about what I post and I keep it light. My media-savvy sister warned me that once you put something out into the either, you'll never get it back. I'm all about finding my own voice, but I try not to do it too publicly.

MJ said...

Don't let your sister look at MINE, then, whatever you do!

Brian Miller said...

it took me a while to find my voice...perhaps the first 100 post or so...i agree there is a certain amount of exhibitionist to us...and what we choose to reveal says a lot about who we are...i enjoy the read leah...keep it up.

mago said...

I am glad to hear you. It may be an concealed exhibition or not. I do not know whether "lucky" or "luckier" apply. MAybe there is philosophical bird, a deep thinking coyote or a funny toad. Anyway there is a philosophical, deep thinking and funny human female we call Leah.

Suzanne said...

I'm crying. You know that, don't you. I know. I keep swallowing trying to find my voice. Two years ago we didn't know one another and then we did. Two women so completely different, but so amazingly similar. It was a gift. You know that. I know baby. I know. I'm crying because I'm so very grateful for the Gods smiling down on us. I am Leah. I can't even imagine my life without you now and to think when I first met you I thought I wasn't even worthy. And now, hell, that's just fucking nutty!!! No, I don't write like you, talk like you, think like you, but I love you so much and that's all that really matters. I wouldn't trade this journey for the world. I'm lucky. And so are you.

I love you so very much darling, and thank you for going to the library to post on my birthday blog. You're the best. And the hats. Oh God, don't even get me going because I'll cry harder. I love you so and can hardly wait to move back to NY.

XO
Moi

mapstew said...

It's almost 5am here, and I should be in bed, asleep. But I am not.

We all need to be heard.
We all need to speak.
We all need to stay up for no other reason but to stay up,
and to speak and to be heard.
Even if what we have to say
means nothing to anyone but ourselves.

Oiche Mhaith agat a chara.

xxxx

Suzanne said...

Mapstew, I like that. It's true.

Leah, you have to visit Otin. He wrote a kick ass funny post. Seriously. You're welcome.
XO

CSI Seattle said...

I often find that it is easier to share my inner thoughts with the blogging community than it is to chat with my closest friends and family.

Kinda weird that I can open up to strangers (actually blogging friends) but fear the feedback of those who actually know me best.

I think that's sorda what you are talking about.

However, for "professional" reasons, I am restricted in what I can say. I have an acquaintance who retired from the NYPD. In the class he teaches, he warns of off-color jokes and language claiming that since his retirement, he's gotten his rights back.

Just thoughts. Hope you are well.

nick said...

I like to think I'm telling the truth about myself in my blog but in reality it's probably full of unconscious inventions and omissions and distortions because deep down we all want to project a certain attractive image rather then the naked, maybe squalid truth. I suspect your friend is right about concealing more than you reveal.

Leah said...

Baino--you're probably right, I suppose a bit of exhibitionism is inherent in this medium--I mean, it's a public journal, right? Still, it was an eye-opening statement, coming especially from Sarge, who knows me so well...

Savannah--a treasure? so are you. What a nice thing to say!

Otin--thank you. Sometimes I have my doubts, but in the end, doubts are what keep it interesting, I suppose. Otherwise I'd probably be insufferable (well, more insufferable than I am now, anyway)...

Karen ^..^ said...

I love your voice. So seldom do we see someone so refreshingly truthful and open within the online world, and your truths come across loud and clear.

I love it. You are a brilliant writer, and part of what makes you so brilliant is the crystal clear truth that shines through each and every post.

I tend to conceal too. I think we all do. It's a defense mechanism.

Candie Bracci said...

Oh Leah,what a beautiful post!You expressed yourself very well and I love all the faces of yours!You are honest when you write about yourself and this is great.Always a pleasure to read you.Have a nice day :)

Leah said...

Otin--thank you; I'm very glad to have you stop by here!

U--that was extremely insightful. I guess that I've begun to embrace my contradictions too, and the fact that I'm not a static character, nor are any of us, even if we want to believe we are. It is hard to feel defined by any one aspect of who we are, and giving up the struggle of caring one way or another seems incredibly well-developed. And growth is good, one never stops growing! Self-awareness is even better.

UB--Yes, I do often wonder whether I'm being a little bit too public with my ramblings. It's an ongoing debate I have with myself. How much to reveal...

MJ--I will be sure to warn her away, but my sis wouldn't object to pure bawd! Just my particular brand of revelation...

Ronda Laveen said...

Well, I, for one, love how you cyber-strip. Keep singing and dancin.'

Leah said...

Brian--I used to post only about my knitting, but then I got bored of that...another big change was giving Sarge and Hedgie their nicknames...

mago--let me just say, that has to be one of my favorite ever comments left here. Sometimes you can be so poetic!

Leah said...

Suzy--me too. It's been a long two years, hasn't it? Not in a bad way though. This has been a wonderful outlet for me psychologically. I like to think how we met--wait, how did we meet? Do you remember? I'm wracking my brain trying to think.

tons of love,

xo

Leah said...

Map--that's lovely. And I hope you got to sleep! I went to sleep at 10 p.m. and was up again by 1:30. I never went back! It seems like a lot of people are having trouble sleeping here in the ether...this is the downside to being a night person. Well, here's to sleeping in!

xo

CSI--Brian, it's awesome to "see" you! I've missed you very much. I know the professional cloak of propriety--I've got it too to a lesser extent, even for some of the same reasons. There is so much I want to say that I don't and can't...

nick--I guess that what I do say is always the truth, but there is, of course, a great deal that I leave out, always. And thank god for that! No one, not even me, wants to experience me in all my unexpurgated glory...

Karen--thank you so much. I find you incredibly refreshing as well, and I'm not just saying that. As you say, although I don't always reveal all the facts, I am honest about the substance. xo

Candie--Thank you very much! I have really been enjoying getting to know you and your wonderful voice as well.

Ronda--"cyber strip"...oh, you are a wit! I always look forward to reading your comments!!

kylie said...

interesting post leah, and beautifully put as always.

i learned long ago that i can only be me and blogging is no different. i'm just no good at concealment most of the time and although i'm not a really out there exhibitionist there is a very strong streak of that in me.

one thing i'm pretty careful of is expressing anger online. i have done it but most of the time i think it tends to come across as pretty ugly

and saying that reminds me that most people dont hide the ugliest bits because they dont actually realise how nasty it is. if that makes sense

ok, thats it from me

cheers

ps: wonderful to see brian about :)

Leah said...

Kylie, it's so interesting that you mentioned anger as the one thing to avoid--I couldn't agree more, and in fact Sarge and I were just discussing this very topic. I will occasionally read something that drives me wild with fury (no exaggeration here, it happened just this afternoon, which is why we were discussing it--I mean, I was so furious I was actually crying), and it is always, always always (can I stress it enough?) better to hold one's tongue online. At least for me, that is. Because the physical evidence is out there for eternity or longer--and I would be, I have been, so embarrassed by my own loss of control. Sarge says, "don't do it." I mean, that was his final word, and I agree with him and with you too.

Suzanne said...

And I agree with both of you because you know me so well and know I've done it. Even to both of you. Do I wish I could suck the words back in? Of course. I'm learning to be more gentle because what's the point of not being? Hubby's right. Let it pass. Tomorrow you'll feel differently. And I hope not because words are recorded forever, but because your heart changes.

Unlike most, I think my soul in revealed on my blog. I don't really hold back because that's just not who I am. Life is short and if I don't say it here, where the hell am I going to say it? I have wonderful friends and amazing support and I'm so grateful I found this place and all of you.

XO XO

PI said...

A girl after my own heart. As my Mum always used to say with a worried shake of her head:-
'You tell too much Pat.'

Scarlet-Blue said...

It's funny, it's actually impossible to conceal a true voice. I've noticed this through blogging.
Sx

Leah said...

Suzy--no, this particular issue is highly personal, although no one knows it. My heart will never change on this particular topic, and it shouldn't. But the angry comment I wanted to make will be left in the dark thank goodness (and don't worry, it wasn't in response to anything any of us were talking about...a totally separate blog). Sometimes it is so freaking hard to keep quiet though, isn't it? God knows I know it.

Pat--My family is always giving a worried head shake in my direction!

Scarlet--you are indeed very right. It's true, and actually it's sort of wonderful.