I am frustrated.
There used to be Baha’i songs, prayers, I was learning a new song every week in Chicago and there were people with rhythm around me. With no effort a voice would be raised in praise.
Today someone asked me to chant, and I could not think of a single prayer to chant, and fell back on one that I love but am so tired of singing.
I need new songs. There is no music in me, no instruments to pick up and raise to the sky to say “Look! I created something.” I create words that don’t rhyme (most of the time). But the one piece I own is my voice, and it is suffering, it is stifled.
I can’t create a harmony. I can lead people in song, I can sing solo decently, I am a high soprano with a wide range…but none of this matters because I can’t remember any songs or prayers any more.
The only way I memorize prayers is through song. And I can’t remember.
I know EXACTLY what you’re saying. Exactly.
I agree. I know just how you feel. I spent so many years singing at Baha’i events, feasts, anything. And after a few short years of not being as active as I used to be, I can’t remember anything. I still get asked to sing things because people remember “the good ole days” and I end up relying on Blessed is the Spot which I love but it gets redundant. It’s time to get back into those 1st soprano notes and learn some new tunes.
I went through this a few years ago because my travels and my isolation from my family and familiar Baha’i community made it hard for me to find my voice in both chanting and singing. Then my mother did something wonderful. She made a tape of her chanting prayers in Persian and Arabic and made copies for all her children. Many of these were the prayers she would chant for us at bedtime when I was little, so they were familiar and therefore easy to memorize. This rekindled in me my childhood desire and ability to learn to chant the prayers and increased my ready repertoire of chantable prayers 10 fold. It also prompted me to ask my Dad for a similar recording, and to add to these with prayers my friends chanted beautifully, and now I have prayers in serveral other languages, including Chinese. Every now and then I listen to the tapes again when I’m driving a few hours and will have alone time, and chant along with them to refresh my intonation. I have also come to think of these recordings as very precious. You could ask for similar recordings from friends and family. In a different vein, while I was in Haifa, I loved African sing along. I loved learning new songs and singing to the beat of the drum and clapping hands and stomping feet making music – and I loved the fellowship and fun as well. Do you every go?