Last night my daughter’s school held its annual Spam Jam. This is when their three a cappella groups perform. Two female and one male group each sing two sets of five songs and over the course of the night there are many solos by seniors and freshman alike. There is beat boxing and scatting and rapping and riffing. Some of the boys flush like thermometers rising. Others are tall and gangly on their way to becoming men. There is unmitigated confidence in some of the young men, and others who never crack a smile. The girls are exotic birds in their pastels and high heels. Some statuesque, some tiny as dolls. All that hair! And together they all make this amazing sound and there is a kind of joy I have never known. A feeling of comraderie, of collaboration, of lifting their voices together in song.
As a high school student and budding poet, I never once experienced anything like this. My companion was my notebook. My sound was in my head. My lot was loneliness. Or maybe that is why I started to keep diaries and write poems. It was my song. God that sounds douchy. Anyway, I pinged between feeling enormous joy for my daughter to shine in that constellation, and being the supreme narcy that I am: a bittersweet feeling that located itself in a knot at the top of my throat.
Do you join or isolate?
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