The other night, as I lay reading before sleep, I came across this paragraph in Gaiman’s Anasi Boys:

Each person who ever was or is or will be has a song. It isn’t a song that anybody else wrote. It has its own melody, it has its own words. Very few people get to sing their own song. Most of us fear that we cannot do it justice with our voices, or that our words are too foolish or too honest, or two odd. So people live their songs instead.

Whoa! I reread the words. I put the book down. I thought about them. Yes, this is what I believe, not as eloquently, but it is what I believe. We each have a song that is uniquely ours, one that we are asked to sing through our voices and our words and our actions and our choices. How we choose to sing – which parts of the melody, how loud, to whom – these are parts of our songs as well.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the way we make choices in our lives – what we choose to do and what we choose to leave undone. For a while, I had been thinking that many people were not living into who they are because they were not choosing to live their passions (and I still think that’s true on some level). But more and more, I’ve been changed in my thinking to see that even in their “safe” choices and even in the non-choices of our lives, people are still living out who they are. They may not be living as vibrantly or as boldly as they are capable of. They may not be as happy or as passionate as they could be. But they are living their own songs. Just as I try to live mine.

Today, may our songs be clear and just as loud as we need them to be.

And for another type of song, check out my friend Cate Hennessey’s review of my former teacher Brad Kessler’s new book on raising goats, Goat Song. Both Cate’s review and Kessler’s work sing out loud.
Cover of Goat Song by Brad KesslerGoat Song by Brad Kessler