I occasionally realize I’m singing toward the end of my walks. It just dawns on me slowly–that I hear someone singing and then, a few seconds later, that it’s me. I don’t know how often this happens. I want to say not very, but it could be that I’m singing all the time while walking and just only occasionally notice it.
Today, I realized I was singing right as I was singing “Take me for granted, leaving love unsure.” And I was like “What the fuck song is this?” It was weird. Like, clearly, this is a song I know well enough to sing to myself when walking. But, trying to play “Name that tune” from “Take me for granted, leaving love unsure?” I had no clue. And the idea of singing a song I couldn’t recognize was so startling to me that I, of course, stopped singing. Which meant that I couldn’t hear how the rest of the song went. So, all morning, I had no idea what fucking song it was.
Until I thought to google just that part.
But here’s what weirds me out most about it. It’s the same thing that always weirds me out when I have panic attacks or when I have those weird heights-related bouts. That feeling that I am just this thin veneer of this particular kind of consciousness riding around on an animal. Like 90% of the time, I get to have the illusion that my conscious self–me with all that being me entails–is the same thing as the body you see before you. And then, sometimes, almost all of them fear based, I get it slammed into me hard that there is this animal always with me that has its own opinions on things–like whether we can cross that bridge or step up to that ledge–and when the animal wants to be in control, it is. End of discussion.
It’s kind of terrifying. And this whole singing thing makes me also feel like it has its own opinions about music, about the things it likes. Aretha Franklin, apparently. Not that I don’t also like her. And it could be worse. What if this animal were a big classical music fan? Ugh, that would be boring as shit.
There are many cultures that have this idea that you don’t have just one soul–that, instead, your innards, your non-physical you, is split up into all kinds of interconnected overlapping parts. (Like in Haitian voodoo where you have a petit bon ange and a gros bon ange and your gros bon ange is what goes wandering around when you dream or what gets replaced when the lwa ride horse. But there are other people who divide the soul up into even more parts.) Even we in our secular way try to acknowledge this–ego, id, superego. We who are not one, indeed.
Anyway, its unsettling. But sometimes nice.