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I Am Sound, You are Sound

June 12, 2017 0 Comments

sound shifterI am sound,
here to sing for you.
You walk in.
I see you and I’ve known you forever,
Not you, by name,
but you in those eyes, in that heart, standing on those feet, in this space, and time.
I extend myself through my eyes, my voice, my movements.

No effort.
I am glad to see you, glad you exist.
What is your name?

Years ago, after moving away from performing and touring professionally as a dancer and singer, and after years of not singing at all, I surfaced my voice, timidly at first, letting it out in un-composed melodies. I hungered to make sound, and yet, I was scared to be heard, judged, or laughed at.

“Rent a studio and a sound engineer one day per week. Pretend it’s therapy and show up.” says a wise and visionary artist friend. “I’ll go with you and journal and draw while you do whatever you do.” So, I do. And up rise my demons trying to stop me with their threats and jibes.

I am a child,
teeth set,
feet flexed
against the dreaded bathtub.
A child fighting bitterly,
kicking and screaming
(or quietly whimpering)
to avoid stepping into the water,
only to dissolve in the magic
of fluid
and sensation
and play.
Now, reluctant to re-emerge.

It is 1999. I step into the sound studio. I cannot imagine making a sound with the engineer there to hear me. He ignores me, setting up the system. I take my place at the mic, dragging my internal heels, resigned to death. And, here I am in silence. Or sound. My choice. Either way, I have to pay for the hour.

I open my mouth
and out comes a sound.
And then, another,
And another,
finding the contours of the room,
shifting and shaping
into melodies
and dreams.
I am in the bath.
Every Thing disappears.

A year, maybe two, later, a colleague invites me to do a presentation on sound healing for a network of healers. He asks me to do this in collaboration with a hypnotherapist and sound healer who I have never met. I say yes. Peter Blum loads his thirty-five singing bowls into my house and sets them up along side his drum and bells and sound-making toys. Without discussion, we begin. One sound leads to another. An hour later, we emerge from the bath. Seventeen years later, we are still performing soundbaths together and with other sound healer musicians, surrounding and transporting our reclined audience of dreamers.

And now, you enter,
laying your bed of blankets,
preparing for a sound journey into imagination and deep rest.
I see you as you lower your body to the floor

and you catch my eye with a twinkle,
and a spark travels between us.
We are that connected.
What is your name?

Three years ago, I had a concussion… that is a topic for another time, and, of a book I am writing…

After my concussion, I had to bow out of two or three of our scheduled soundbaths. I couldn’t tolerate sound or light. Any stimulation was too much. And, when I showed up for the first soundbath, ten months post-concussion, my collaborators cushioned me by avoiding any loud or sudden sounds. I re-entered the bath one toe at a time.

And now, after three years of slowly rebuilding my dendrites, those roadways from my neurons to my cellular body, I am at home in the bath. And I invite others in…

Another enters the room.

We see our reflections
In each others’ eyes.
She reclines. He reclines. They recline.

Pools of light recede.

Pools of sound emerge
and the soundbath begins.


From “Three Shakes of Salt in My Morning Tea: A Memoir of Omelets, I mean, Concussion” (a book in progress)


© 2017 Naaz Hosseini. All Rights Reserved. Copying or reposting this content without written permission is strictly prohibited.

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Naaz Hosseini

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