To Believe
Monday, May 4, 2009

I know, I know, the whole Britain's Got Talent buzz that is sweeping the Internet is pure cheesy schlock.  So, I guess that makes me a complete sucker for schlock. 

This man's video isn't as well known as the frumpy lady's, but I find it even more full of goose pimples and heart strings. 

The frumpy gal treated her audition, in a What-The-Heck, Proud-Of-Never-Being-Kissed, Here- Is-My-15-Minutes-Of-Fame, kind of way.

The Man from Wales is different. He walks onto the stage looking cowed, a little beaten by life, and filled with the sense that he thinks he's about to become a bad viral joke. You can tell he has summoned every ounce of his courage to be out on that stage, terrified of the unknown before him. 

And then he opens his mouth and this unassuming Welsh Man, pizza driver by night, allows the quiet beauty of the song to overtake him and his voice is of something as lovely, as moving, as lyrical as a Dylan Thomas poem.

The song, his voice that in no way matches his countenance, the sappy arrangement playing in the background are stirring enough. But, what tugged on my heartstrings the most was this humble man’s reaction. 

As the audience gets on their feet, he breaks down. 

And when Simon-Hardcore-Truthteller, says, “I know how important these 3 minutes are in your life.” And then completely undoes this humble soul by telling him, “You’ve got to start believing in yourself,” the Man from Wales allows us to see through his tears what he has not been able to grasp, what he has wanted all his life. 

To sing. To sing. 

A desire that has always eluded him because he has never felt good enough, a belief just out of his reach that has created another pizza driver instead of a noble Valjean from Les Miserable on the Broadway stage.

To Believe is Power. To Believe is Everything.

I, often feel as if I am the Man from Wales, pressing myself safely away from the precipice. 

I have written a novel, a novel that I think is full of promise and laughter, some beauty and even a few tears. It's time and I know it's time, but I've been ripe with excuses for far too long, as my book sits there ever so patiently, waiting to sing.

I've allowed myself to say that it's the children, the house, the economy, the company, the life that keeps me from auditioning, when really it's just me and the doubt that perhaps I am simply not good enough. 

It is one thing to be a straight-up pizza driver, top salesperson of the year, builder of magnificent homes, Nobel winning scientist, brilliant cardiac surgeon, WalMart Employee of the Month. 

It is another thing altogether to be judged as an artist, whether a singer, a writer, a painter, an actor. It is your soul, your split-open heart, your voice, on parade, saying, "Here, have at it. Tell me whether you believe in me, simply me."

No more excuses. 

The next few weeks are filled with graduations and parties, endings and beginnings, but in every other wedge of time, I will be working like my life depended on it or at least my voice.

My novel is a few words too many for commercial viability.  Just a few. So, in between the stuff of life, I will be cutting and editing and getting ready to send it out into the world.

Judgement Day is upon me and with shaky hands and a pounding heart, off I will go.

I'll bring you along for the ride and perhaps I'll give you a peek here and there of this book I've written and held tight-fisted next to my heart, as I've tried to will up the power to believe. 

Cross your fingers for me. I want to sing.

Today's DOO IT Download: (I love saying that to my kids. It drives them crazy. "DOO IT!" With an inflection on the T. It's really a fun way to drive them bonkers.)  "Nightswimming" by REM and the ethereal voiced Michael Stipes. One of their quieter songs, filled with such resonance right now for my life. "Nightswimming deserves a quiet night....The fear of getting caught, of recklessness and water. They cannot see me naked. These things they go away, replaced by the every day..."  

The water's dark and deep and scary, but I'm going to strip everything away and jump. 

I do believe.

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