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Wednesday, 3 April 2013


my eldest niece started junior school last september. within that first week of school i arrived at my sisters house after work one evening to be greeted by a gap toothed smile and the words "auntie emma, i joined the choir at school today". since then we have chatted choir practices almost every week. 

school choirs have changed a lot since i was a girl. when i was in junior school we practiced in the school hall with the designated teacher who became choir mistress along with another teacher on the piano. fast forward to 2013; the school website provides access not only to the lyrics of the songs they are currently singing but the backing tracks with or without vocals for the kids to practice. soon after practices started she was excited to discover we were both singing the same song, just sing, in our choirs, we would sing that alongside a medley of disco tracks she was learning. amongst disco inferno and boogie wonderland was sir duke. at the beginning of the year it was not uncommon for me to arrive at my sisters house to the sounds of stevie wonders greatest hits playing from the ipad and my nieces sweet voice over it. she's seven. i was much older when i first discovered stevies music.

a few weeks ago she started singing a song over and over. she couldn't remember what it was called nor could she remember all the lyrics but she knew the tune and could hum it. i recognised the tune and pieced together a few words, only i couldn't remember many of them nor the artist. i arrived one night to be told the track she was singing was natasha bedingfields unwritten. it was downloaded to the ipad and her and her sister have been happily singing it for weeks now. 

this song is still the current favourite on the girls ipad selection. over easter while i have been hanging out with family the lyrics of the chorus hit me: 

"reaching for something in the distance, so close you can almost taste it. release your inhibitions, feel the rain on your skin. no one else can feel it for you, only you can let it in. no one else, no one else, can speak the words on your lips. drench yourself in words unspoken, live your life with arms wide open. today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten".

the imagery of a books blank page waiting to be written resonated with me. what am i, what are you, going to write? are we open? do we have enough courage to recognise our true feelings and not only express them but live them? are we willing to banish fear? to not only dream but dream big? 

challenge and encouragement from a three minute pop song. ms bedingfield i thank you.


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