Austin — The sprinklers go off early, still a novelty to me after two years in this house, to have my own irrigation system, to have bounty spring up throughout the lawn and garden beds. They are automatic and occur like someone rising to cook breakfast while I lounge in sheets and catch the smells.
It’s cold, the first day this year when I think about heaters.
Leaving sprinklers and heaters behind, I start singing in the sun-lit studio. The judges are here to dance, if only lightly, around me. I remember to focus on what’s emerging, to follow impulse and simply sing what is next. I hear a voice concerned about this practice making me too distracted, too apt to follow the shifts in breezes. I let it go and enjoy being all over the place.
I start moving my body, dancing around while singing, feeling sound express gesture and vice-versa, one emergence.
One sound makes me chuckle and soon I am off in laughter, remembering the laughing clubs of India who laugh as a practice. I do the same in this moment and add the physical mechanisms of laughing, even before they arise from anything humorous.
This becomes contagious (apparently something within me can become contagious within me) and I start cracking up. It’s waves of this, until a wave ebbs and the cracking up turns into some other kind of sound, mixtures of music and language. Then another wave comes in. At times I’m slapping my knees, bent over.
Laughing is one of those most natural body sounds, like yawning and crying, that we can use to guide us into a kind of singing that is unforced, with the full support of our bodies.
Little eruptions and chuckles continue as I finish my practice and start writing.