Bringing Heat Back to My Heart
"I live a very devotional and ritualistic life.” - Fahima Ifé, friend and artist
I’ve been living with cold in my heart for about 10 years. It was likely initiated by childhood hurt and fears, exacerbated by watching my mother die of rage and a broken heart, and brought on strongly by betrayal in an important relationship. Then my sacred and beloved grandmother and my uncle, the last of my grandmother and grandfather’s three children, passed in the same year. My grief was so pointed, I couldn’t cry. It afflicted my body, making a home deep in my lungs. I stopped being able to work full-time. For the first time in my life, I could not sing, and that stretched out my capacity for stillness, prioritizing rest and attention to my physical body, limiting my social life. I’ve been living in this way for the past 4 years and I am not nearly done. I don’t know if I can ever regain the same lung (and immune) capacity that I had before, but I am amazed at how herbal medicine, breathing techniques, self-motivated vocal practices and physical movement all cradle me as I continue to heal and increase in some capacities.
I have good friends. They’re scattered around the country and in some places internationally.
I’ve always lived like this- with my heart spread across the world.
Calling myself home to my body, making my world as small as a bedroom and taking pleasure in small things like good soups and laughter, I have learned a lot from being in such a “hidden” place. I learn to love slowness and let go of any idea to push myself beyond comfortable boundaries. I learn to pace myself to save some of my giving energy to nourish myself, like a scoby. I learn when to say what needs to be said, like “no”, “I can’t,” or “I’m not ready,” or “I need help.“ Now I am learning to reheat my heart. A good friend of several years recently told me, “your voice has a deepness I haven’t heard,” and he’s heard everything everything I’ve made so far.
What’s happening is that all these trials through grief, loss, damage, healing, forgiveness, exhaustion (Grrrrrl, sometimes I be tired!), letting-go, re-focusing, deeply praying and believing that I have to continue (if for nothing else than to make the music my heart’s been preparing for lifetimes)- all these aspects are coming to life through my vocal expression. It’s always been like that. It’s what the Blues are made of. These bouts turn something within me and all I can do is be more authentic on the other side of them. So when I feel called to do something related to music, movement, or Spirit, it ain’t just me calling for it. It’s something else that says, “Go.” An ancestor, a spirit of my future, the song itself (my first love). We come into being all together, and honestly I’m so happy to have the good fortune of being humbled along the way.
All that said, I am raising money to attend an embodied improvisational (led by spirit) song school that starts in January 2023. I made a gofundme campaign to receive donations. I also receive through paypal, venmo, and zelle, AND I receive leads to grants and scholarship funding. Right now, I’m funding an album, further vocal education, and my health plan, which includes a lot of herbs and regular body work. Should I start a Patreon? I receive feedback and leads to ongoing sources of income to support the three pillars of my artistic life- projects, education, and health. I also receive recommendations for sound, body, energy and breath work practices that have helped any of you heal and maintain balance. Receiving heart-warming support. I’ll never get tired of loving this path. I have found something that I can commit to for the rest of my life.