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When I Sing

When I talk I am afraid.
That which is me hides behind the words.
The words flood while meaning trickles.
Most hear the words and miss the meaning.
They laugh. They get angry. They walk away.
They do not understand.
When I sing I am fearless.
That which is me is carried by the song.
The words are my thoughts. The notes are my feelings.
Those with hearts and heads too full of themselves:
Block their ears -- the notes are sour.
Close their minds -- the words do not rhyme.
But some of you listen with your heads and hearts.
You feel the notes and know my feelings.
You comprehend the words and know my thoughts.
You listen for the feelings.
You can sense them.
Part of me is in your heart.
You listen for the meaning.
You understand it.
Part of me is in your head.
Then I start to see me in you.
I can confront what I hid even from myself.
My need for fearlessness fades.
Inside, I am changing -- sensing part of you.
The air vibrates with song.
We are sharing more than music. We are sharing ourselves.

c. June 1978

by Bill Cattey