Preface: Just so you, my dear readers, know: I’m a fairly awful singer. I recently realized that I sound even worse than I thought when I recorded a bit of myself  singing using my cell phone’s recorder. Even given the fact that those things don’t pick up the best sound quality, giving me a few extra points to account for that would still place me fairly squarely in the “abysmal” realm.

I’m telling you this not to get down on myself or as some sort of apology, I’m telling you because whenever the subject of singing for the gods comes up, someone inevitably comes back and says “I want to sing but I’m a bad singer!”

I’m telling you this to say it doesn’t matter.

Though I haven’t talked about it much in quite a while, it’s no big secret that I’ve been going through some less than fun times for the last two years or so but after too many months of aimless wandering and numerous false starts, I think I’m finally starting to get somewhere again.

It actually started shortly before Christmas, that I wasitting at my shrine one night, trying for the thousandth time to feel my way back to the connection that I used to have, one that I knew was there but I had somehow lost my end of. After getting nowhere for about an hour, I thought about the ipod I had with me stuck the phones in my ears and scrolled to my Apollo playlist. instead of just listening to the music as I so frequently had, I started singing along with it. a couple of songs that remind me most strongly of him.

Almost instantly, I felt the connection- and strongly, and I knew that this was something that I needed to do.  I can’t really say for certain why I didn’t continue to do so very often starting then and there. There were a few other times, like one very cold, very windy evening in January when I had gone to the bank, opting, for no good reason, to walk instead of taking he bus (A nice walk in good weather, but when it’s twenty degrees out and the wind is gusting to forty miles an hour? Not so much. But I walked, stopping on my way home in a park to drink some coffee and watch traffic in the distance and starting to formulate an idea or two (possibly a topic for a separate post, I haven’t abandoned the thoughts.) and in the dying winter light, I felt the connection again for a few minutes, strong as it ever was.

There were one or two other times after that, and each time i’d feel a bit giddy with happiness of reclaiming wha I’d been missing so badly, but I didn’t keep it up again. Then one day, about a week and a half ago, I went to my shrine with a few things on my mind. Before I could turn my attention to Apollo (actually, Apollo and Dionysus- both had been on my mind at the time, and I had recently rearranged my shrine space so that they shared a table) my mind was momentarily diverted by another. It was suggested to me that I needed to refocus my attention a bit at the moment, narrow the view a little more to the one upon which everything depended. I decided to listen, and turned my attention entirely to Apollo. And I sang for him.  Since then, excepting for maybe two days, I’ve spent at least a little time every day at my shrine, and always part of that time singing.

And that’s what I’m doing right now, repairing that connection. My end of it, at least, was broken and is slowly getting back to what it needs to be. With the exception of one time when I recorded myself out of sheer curiosity (and very quickly deleted the files), I do not worry about how I sound. After I’m fnished is another story, but I try not to dwell too much on that.  It is a little sad, I think, that the way my own voice sounds in my head is so much better than the way it sounds to others, but I resigned myelf to that years ago. But I have since told myself that what He hears is my voice as I hear it (and I do believe this to be true).

I like songs that contain long, extended notes, as well as shorter, trippier ones that require a bit of dexterity to get the words out in time with the music.  I also like songs with a wide range of high and low notes. Even if my voice doesn’t sound very good, I do have a  good rang, lung capacity (once upon a time, I played the saxophone) and ability to sing along with trickier words.

Lower notes, I feel down in my chest, between my lungs. As they get higher, the notes move up through my throat and into my head. As my vocal chords stretch tighter with the higher notes, I also tend to get more light-headed. In this context, I love the feeling. I feel his presence in the notes, in the words, in the changes in pitch and speed, and especially in the holding out on the longer notes. When I’m singing for him, I don’t know what ever made me lose my connection to begin with. Everything is as it was always supposed to be, without break, or doubt or hurt. This is going a long way towards letting me move past what’s got such a hold on me.When I sing for him, I don’t feel that I’m healing- I feel that  I am healed.

For the moment, I am focusing solely on Apollo but soon, I will be ready to shift and work on also re-establishing my connections with other deities.

I know I’ve done this before, but there have been some changes, and seeing as it’s the thng to do lately to post playlists for one’s god, I’ll go ahead and post my Apollo playlist now:

Alpha- Airlock
Quiet Hour- Airlock
Sky- Violet Indiana
Kyrie- Mr. Mister
Breaking Point- The Moody Blues
The Other Side of Life- The Moody Blues
Dreaming Blade- Rhea’s Obsession
Gravity- Vienna Teng (If I had to pick one song from the list to be *the* Apollo song, this would be it.)
Momentum- Vienna Teng
I Dare You- Shinedown
Before I Walk on Fire- Sophie B Hawkins
Apollo- Kelly Andrew Kaveny
The Oracle of Apollo- Vangelis
Hymn- Vangelis (both the original instrumental and the choral versions- they’re unique enough to merit mentioning both.)
Apollo’s Gaze- Miriam Marston
Temple of Apollo- Pamela & Randy Copus
Half Life- Duncan Sheik (This is a song which I think-hope-will move on to be removed before too long, but it is there for the time being because it describes too perfectly how I’ve been feeling for far too long.)

Now that I’m finally feeling like I’m starting to be able to get somewhere- and the feeling is sustaining- I’m getting a little more productive. I’ve revamped the blog, I’ve started on a couple of poems, including almost finishng one inspired by the myth of Marsayas which I’ll post when finished. A couple of weeks ago I had jury duty, and I passed the day in a blissfully silent room, listening to music and reading more on Apollo (Okay, I took a break to read a bit of Kerouac too!) and beginning to write an article on how I see the connection between Apollo and Dionysus. I;ve got a couple of reader requests from a while back that I fully intend to make good on, I just need some time with that because they were mostly with respect to deities that I l know a lot less about but rest assured, I will do what I can with each one and post when finished.

That, I believe, is all for the moment.