Don’t worry about others when singing in the car

Published 9:45 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I am always amazed when I visit an art gallery at the incredible talent some people possess.

What an exhilarating feeling it must be to put a brush to canvas and create a masterpiece with nothing more than paint and your mind.

And, it easy to marvel at the works of great writers such as William Shakespeare, F. Scott Fitzgerald or Harper Lee. The creativity and impact of each is mindboggling.

But it is the ability to sing that intrigues me the most.

I marvel at those that can approach a microphone, open their mouth and have sweet melody flow out.

My voice and sweet melody are words that generally aren’t associated with each other. It’s more of a choir voice (best heard when mixed with others) as opposed to a solo voice.

It’s not as if I haven’t tried. As a high school freshman, I joined the girls chorus. At my school, this was a large group of more than 200 members. I served my time and then moved up to the concert choir. Again, this group topped 100 or so singers, allowing my wavering alto to blend with with the others.

Emboldened by these experiences, I tried out for the school’s small singing group. It was made up of 14 or so members, all of whom could actually sing. I was devastated when I wasn’t selected, something that seems weird as it wasn’t as if I thought I could sing in the first place. Maybe I thought the director would reward sheer determination and overlook that whole tone-deaf thing.

I served out my remaining high school years in concert choir, one not-so-great-voice among many other must more talented singers.

Today, the tradition continues. I sing at church, but make sure to only sing as loudly as those around me. I don’t know if this qualifies as making a joyful noise, but I do know that it makes it easier for those around me to concentrate on higher things.

But, when I’m alone in my car, I crank up the radio and sing along at the top of my lungs. I don’t worry about those driving alongside me, as they are spared from my voice and only exposed to my funny faces as I sing.

To me, my voice sounds pitch perfect. For that period of time, I’m not tone deaf. I’m the Picasso of the parking lot, the Rembrandt of the roadway.

For that moment, I can sing. And it’s glorious.