I’ve been thinking about community a lot lately, and I have a feeling I’m not the only one. How about you?

Maybe it has something to do with spending most of 2020 and into this year dealing with the isolation and social distancing of COVID-19.

I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere in South Dakota and have always been a bit of a loner. I’m an introvert who, while functioning easily as an extrovert, needs plenty of time alone to recharge my spiritual and emotional batteries. Yet COVID certainly showed me how much I appreciate and can miss my friends. You, too? Just this afternoon I met a friend I hadn’t seen in well over two years for a long walk and yummy cup of Starbucks coffee. We could hardly believe it had been that long since we last saw each other.

This last week I re-watched Bohemian Rhapsody and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (the one with the whales) free on Hulu and the theme of community hit me again, both times.

Freddie Mercury, upon “reconnecting with the mother ship” after cutting his only solo album, expressed frustration and regret that the people he hired for the album “unfortunately” did exactly as he told them to. No push-back from Roger, no re-writes from Brian, no funny looks from John. “I need you,” he said. “And you need me.”

What Star Trek fan doesn’t love Captain James T. Kirk? He’s handsome, suave, charming, a natural leader, balanced risk-taker, and all around likeable guy. But where would he be without Spock’s calm logic, Scotty’s skill and pragmatism, and Bones’ cantankerous passion?

I wrote How Abella Found Her Voice, but I also know the story was divinely inspired, and the book probably would have sucked without the help of my two editors, Madeleine and Gina. Would the two plays, Second Chances & New Beginnings, have come about without my writing partner, Jen? Absolutely not! And, of course, we needed a director, actors, and team to bring it to production!

I can sing around the house all I want by myself, but what kind of singer or voice teacher would I be without the instruction of voice teachers who know more than me? Someone to sing to? I teach speakers and beginning to intermediate singers, not advanced, and not those on a classical or professional singing path. So I need to be in community with other voice teachers who do teach those types of students.

And…I’m almost done reading Resmaa Menakem’s My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, which has me wanting to come into community with others to combat the insidious legacy of white supremacy in this country. I’m not sure how I’m going to do my part yet; I just know I want to.

What do you want to do? What kind of community do you want to be a part of?

It’s a good time to ask ourselves these questions. Let me know what you’re thinking on the blog. Perhaps we can help other like the members of Queen or the Enterprise crew.

GoFundMe account for 2022 Portland Fertile Ground Festival’s production of Second Chances & New Beginnings:  https://gofund.me/072d7484. $700 of $1800 raised so far! Thank you, donors!

Celebrating MANY VOICES: One World! Purchase How Abella Found her Voice for $4.95 here: https://laurahandke.com/product/how-abella-found-her-voice-e-book/

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Love Your Voice & Voice Your Love,

Laura