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Choir Dissonant Practice

I am a right-brain prominent writer
which must not be confused with
a prominent left-brain writer,
which I am almost decidedly not
nor would I aspire
toward such all or nothing thinking
and not at all both/and feeling.

Like most writers,
I feel more like the muses of rhetoric
and storytelling
and poetry
chose me,
more than I chose to write
like the non-choice vocation
of being sensually attracted to older
and wiser
and more caring unstraight multicultured men
in a homophobic society.

I also have a long history of chronic depression
to write about
which seems unsurprising
as my story includes growing up gay
and unhappily bright
in a straight white male privileged monoculture
in a hetero-orthodox right-wing
white
nihilistic church
with dualistic theological
(evil nature v. holy spirit)
and toxic anti-ecological
radically xenophobic pretensions
fears
phobias
dissociation
repressions
suppression
absence of healthy polycultural impressions
and not at all authentically evangelical
because neither "good"
nor "news".

So, when I hear our beautiful voiced
and talented smart
and positively energized choir director,
in her most fulsome creative rhapsody,
want to honor a composer of music
by singing his creation uniformly "straight"
I become depressed,
shrunken,
disempowered,
unvoiced,
shocked again by left-brain monocultural dominance.

When someone reads
and/or performs their own oral interpretation
of what I have written,
and, I hear something I had not heard,
much less intended, before,
I learn something about what that person
and I may both care about
in a new resonant and/or dissonant way.

I may be challenged sometimes
but I am always flattered

Far more than the prospect
of a uniform
robotic
mechanically
slavishly "straight" reading
that does not wrap in
my reader's own well-being,
harmonies,
rhythms,
experience,
emotions,
history,
culture,
tempo,
pitch,
love,
passion,
hate,
fear,
anger,
hope for resonance,
faith in 
Earth's healthy resilience,
unstraight compassion,

I am happy to have been noticed
yet vaguely bored
and sometimes anxiously
lightly depressed
by lack of contagious inspiration.

This great dichotomy of singing to the choir culture
that would celebrate multicultural emotion
yet straight-jackets into pre-chorded words
and notes as written,
predetermined without innovation,
without improvisation
without contagious color
and hope of newly enriching climates
of comparative warm re-creating accompaniment...

This is much too straight for me.
Not a healthy dichotomy 
for playful music
to resonantly be.

When it occurred to me,
If I do not feel appreciated by musicians
who respect composers and lyricists
enough to support our mutually democratic innovation,
divine and more prosaic inspirations,
spontaneous improvisation
to make and play with music that invites new dispositions
more than repeat performances
of someone else's stay within the lines story,

Then I could enjoy choir practice,
or even feel emotionally safe 
from retriggering depression's deeply entrenched history
if I were to arrive fully medicated

And so I know
my time to therapeutically invest somewhere else
has come

Seeking rapture of well-written melody,
well-crafted lyrics,
could only grow embraced by resonant harmony
and resilient themes of pattern
and improvised textures,

Amplification need not bury beauty,
simplicity,
transparency,
vulnerability,
longing or belonging,

Uniformity
precludes possibility
for creation's polycultural integrity,

Although inspiration,
to remain more ecstatically divine,
does sometimes require
a warm inviting director
to remind the right-brain embellisher,
polisher,
both/and nuancer,
examiner,
investigator,
explorer,
improviser
of when it is our time to stop redundant rifts
and move on to life's next more democratic piece
of not left-brain dominant writing

And singing,
dance enacting
more than monochromatic 
exacting
extracting
exhuming
exfoliating
exhausting straightness

Copyright © Gerald Dillenbeck

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