In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Futures Past.”
It would have been 1956-57 when I was 5/6 years old. The 50’s were great, and there were no rules or regulations on the treatment of children. Children belonged to the parents and they got to make the decisions as they saw fit. Now it appears that children belong to the state/government as there is a lot legislated on what you can and cannot do with your kids. In fact one story that has made the airwaves this past couple of weeks is the police being called more then once on a family who allowed their children aged somewhere around 5 or 7 to walk to the park on their own. The park was apparently 4 blocks away. So there is one example on how things have changed since the gold old 50’s. It is illegal to drive without proper seating for your children, which is very good for the manufacturers particularly when they are outlawed on a regular basis. We must keep buying the upgraded version or God forbid our landfills start to decline. Okay forgive me I am getting a bit facetious, and off subject…
When I was five, my parents would go shopping to the Bonsecours Market in Montreal. I was given the option to go or not. Often I would opt to stay behind. If my sister went, I had the house all to myself. This was my private time. At first it felt a bit strange. I would walk around and things looked and felt different to me in the stillness. It was as though I need not fit anything but could expand myself to feel a room in it’s entirety. It was a different house with just me in it. The quiet was palpable and I heard every creak my steps would make. I was a sensible child and knew not to touch the stove… why would I ? I never disturbed a thing.
Before long, I would find my way over to the kitchen sink, above which sat a mirror that had been bolted to the wall with clear plastic thingies. I would prop myself up on little bit of ledge that surrounded the sink and gaze into the mirror. That is when the singing began. I would sit there like a canary on a perch and sing my heart out for the entire time. I never tired of it. I was raised with the musicals, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly etc. etc. My fantasies were all about the singing and the dancing. That passion of mine lasted for years, but this was the first of it’s emergence. It somehow embarrassed me though and after a couple of hours I would start to be very diligent about keeping an ear out for the return of my family. It would have been devastating for me to be caught in this display of loving myself. Because that is what it was. When I sang, I was feeling the love… and I would watch myself in the mirror, because I obviously enjoyed watching myself. This was almost forbidden in my house as a child and I might have been either punished or surely reprimanded for thinking so highly of myself.
I still enjoy singing but it takes me a while to warm up, and now, I have good days and some not so good when it comes to vocalizing. I am still quite shy about it. I have thought to join a choir a couple of times but have not managed to do so. It is impossible to sit still with any kind of live music in the vicinity and in my younger years I danced 4 days a week. I still love dancing, but do not have the moves I used to. I honestly think that singing and dancing is one of the healthiest things a body could engage in. it covers all the bases, movement, voice and and a beautiful way to creatively give yourself over to the music.
I have always favored the creative arts.