Denise Casey lives in Vermont where she writes, hikes, sings, studies and practices mind-body healing and just “keeps on showin up.” She is also one of the young leaders with Women of Spirit and Faith. While she still feels rooted in Christian teachings of her childhood, she has taken to practicing and studying Buddhism and earth-based religions and traditions.
I didn’t really start writing until I went to Nepal. Letters and journal entries became poems and much later poems became songs. But I kept my writing to myself. First of all, they were more personal expressions than any kind of intended “poetry.” And because they were so personal and of the moment, I didn’t have the vision to see why other people would even want to read or hear them. The same thing went for the songs I wrote. They were just words that moved themselves into songs.
I kept writing and continued to keep it to myself, singing in the car and in the shower. But there was a slow evolution happening. At first it was just a tiny piece of me that wanted to share, but only in a completely safe space. I was very protective of who I shared my writing and songs with. It took me so long to share music with people, but I discovered when I did share, people really enjoyed it. And it feels good when my songs resonate with people. Why then am I holding back this gift, these creations? Are they even mine to hold on to?
At the beginning of the summer I went to a workshop in New York with Jan Phillips on Evolutionary Creativity. On the first morning Jan said that when we commit to life, we commit to whatever it is we want to create, then providence moves too. A while back I read this on one of her blogs and it moved me so much that I wrote a song about it. At the first break I told Jan about the song and she asked if I would sing it. Without even thinking I said yes, absolutely. Immediately after agreeing the reality set in. “What am I doing?” But my immediate “yes” response was so much louder than whatever underlying fear there was.
I think my knee shook the whole time I sang and the guitar was out of tune, but pheewey! Holy freedom batman! I felt like the genie fresh out of the bottle. “Ten thousand years can give you such a creak in the neck!” Tell me about it genie. It felt so good to sing a song like that to a room full of women. Talk about space and acceptance! Why was I holding on so tightly? The women were very complimentary and later that night I sang two more original songs. Several of the women used the word gift when speaking about my songs and voice.
Now, I’m not saying I’m an Aretha or Tina by any means, but I think there is something to be said for owning what we create; not in a way of stamping our name on it, but really putting our truth into action. That kind of musician inspires me, the ones that just move from that place of soul…Janis Joplin, she wasn’t thinking at all about what or how she was singing before she sang it; it just went straight on through her. Creation. Flow. There is nothing cooler than watching it just flow on through someone. Uh, just thinking about it I want to grunt like James Brown. And at that point, it doesn’t even matter what it sounds like because you can feel it with your whole body, it brings you alive.
My songs and writings are my truth, my experiences woven through my original and authentic being. No one else in the world can create them. When I share them with people I am giving away the pieces that were given to me, the pieces I was born to create. When I sing with my attention on what people will think, my voice quivers and gets small. When I sing for my soul, there ain’t nothin in my way and I don’t give a damn who’s in the room.
When I act as the Divine Feminine I create…because it’s my soul’s longing. Ultimately, we know of no other way of living. Sure we can throw layers upon layers of doubt and fear on top, but at the end of the day we still create every moment of our lives. The layers are just dust on an already perfect gem.