Falling With Style: How To Use The Radio As A Ouija Board

Helen Laroche is asking some big questions. 

Do you believe in the occult? Non-traditional healing modalities? The existence of God or a higher power?

Ten years ago, as a high school senior about to leave the nest, I was certain in my response. I not only didn’t believe in any of that, but I assumed that nobody of any intelligence could truly believe it either. I was the product of two Caltech grads for parents, and four college graduate grandparents, none of whom attended church with any regularity. The sense I always got was: believing in a higher power was sort of lazy; you should have enough self-empowerment to not only get through life, but actively thrive, without an invisible friend/parent/etc. to help you.

Fast forward ten years. My impressionable, artistic right brain has been coaxed into belief — and my logical left brain has gotten dragged along, kicking and screaming. Although I’m not ready to put my foot down and say, unequivocally, that A is so and B is not, I have opened myself up to the mystery and possibility of almost anything.

It feels as batty as it sounds, and my left brain is constantly judging me for it. But over the past few years, I have had some terribly powerful experiences — with energy healing, with meditation and chakra work, and with the power of coincidence. I have started to treat massive or constant coincidences as a tap on the shoulder by a higher power. Often, the coincidence (e.g. bumping into an old friend, hearing a certain song on the radio, reading a forwarded article) seems to answer a nagging question, or pose a challenge for me, or re-affirm a shaken confidence in myself.

I don’t know whether this is truly a higher power or just my brain hearing what it wants to hear. Am I flying or just falling with style? If the ends justify the means, does it matter? All I know is, it makes me feel like I’m part of something really big, and that’s immensely comforting.

Now, what does this have to do with art and the path I’m currently walking? I am interested in self-producing an album of Broadway/pop-style cabaret songs, and I put out a call last night via Facebook for submissions. The response made me giddy with excitement — already a dozen songs, from friends in various circles, in less than 24 hours. (And there’s still time to submit — hint, hint!) I tried asking the same question in the same manner a year ago, and I got no responses. So what changed? Have I increased the number of composers I know? Did my post simply get more visibility this time around? Was it the “right cosmic time” to ask this question?

I am open to all possibilities.