In Which I Feel Triumphant And Defeated All At Once

May 2nd, 2010 by Jules Leave a reply »

So the lovely Denise Hudson wrote a very wonderful song for my World Lupus Day project. Lyrically, it spoke to me. It very nicely tells of some of the struggles I personally go through with my lupus. Musically, I thought I could sing it. I thought maybe I can do this. And then I attempted it and failed miserably.

Her original version would musically go one way and my brain wanted to go another. At first, I thought my inability to sing it was due to a number of factors I do not think I can explain, so I won’t. I’ll just say it didn’t quite work for me even so it was a very good piece. So I asked her to send me the guitar only and I would attempt it that way. I listen to her vocals 3 or 4 times, I then played the guitar only once and then attempted to sing. I failed. The song in that version did not breathe in a way that was natural for me and brain was still wanting to go directions musically that the first version was not going. If I had more time to learn the piece, then maybe. But we are on a deadline here.

I listened to the guitar only a couple more times in an attempt to *get it* when I realized that I couldn’t get it in it’s current format. So presumptuously, I thought of how it would work for me. I found a melody in my head. I hummed it a couple of times to see where it would go. Then without thinking, I horribly recorded what I heard. I felt so defeated. I use to be able to sing. Melody wise, I think the song works. However, vocally it really is shit.

I do not write music. Music really isn’t my thing even so I know music. It just isn’t something I do. Apparently, I have now co-written my first piece of music (even so there was no actually writing involved. I heard a melody and recorded what I heard in my head with one take and one attempt). Given this, I do feel a bit of a personal triumph. I did something that I never thought in a million years, I would do. I made music. But I could not sing it. Not even close despite what others may think.

Maybe it is because they have never heard me sing. Maybe it is because I know what I am capable of. What I produced was a million miles away of where I use to be vocally. I was so frustrated with this yet another reminder of how I once use to be brilliant and now am dim. I cried. It is very frustrating for me when I am served with harsh reminders that I am no longer capable of the things I was once very capable of. Not even close to the same ballpark of capable. I thought briefly that with some practice, I may be able to do it.  Nothing but failure ensued. Mind you, I only attempted it a couple more times. However, this is one of those things that I know if I’ll get it or I won’t. There was no way I was going to get it. So I said, I’m not going to do it. Then I stopped thinking about it. I walked away.

I had put it completely out of my head. So far out of my head, that I forgot the melody that I had created. That part isn’t really all that surprising as I had only attempted to sing it a handful of times and only listened to it a couple more handful of times. Then last night, out of the blue, it was back in my head. The melody kept repeating itself over and over. I could not get it out of my head. However, it was slightly different. It was in a different key. It was one step lower than what I had originally attempted it at. One step lower of the miserable failure. I took this as a sign that even so I had quit, my brain was not going to let me quit so easily. I am supposedly a fighter after all and do not give up.

So without thinking and without attempting to sing it once through first, I recorded what I heard in my head. I didn’t put any more effort into it than the first time I did it. I sang it sitting down, with my knees up to my chest and with no air behind it whatsoever. I just spat it out. And you know what? It wasn’t terrible. It was still shit. It was still a million miles away from what I am capable of. A million miles away of where I once was vocally. However, given the fact I have a cold, my lupus auto-destruct sequence is activated, and I made no real attempt to sing it, it isn’t that bad. I think I may just be able to do this after all. I’m not feeling so defeated anymore. I feel as if I could be brilliant once again.

Given I only have 5ish days to do this thing (if I do it) it will never be up to my standard. It will never be up to what I know I am capable of. And this isn’t overly self-critical Jules talking. I am realistic and I know what I am capable of and what I am not. Now even so it will not be up to what I use to be able to do (when you don’t sing for 3ish years and are very out of practice, it takes a long time to get the old vocal cords back into shape), I think I can get it to a level where I think it is passable.

We will see I suppose. I am still at the maybe stage of doing this. I am going to attempt it anyway. And if I can’t, then I can’t and Denise will sing it for me. And if I can, I can. At least I am attempting it. It may be a foolish attempt. We will just have to wait and see, won’t we?


1 comment

  1. Denise Hudson says:

    I think it’s gonna be awesomeWIN! and it sounds great in the new key. It won’t be tough to transpose at all. Reading this story you’ve been through a lot on this journey with this song, but YEAHyoudid co-write a tune!

    Glad I was part of it :)