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Life is a simple song. Sing it it softly.

Don’t you ever remember hearing a clear, happy popular song when a sweet voice kept faithfully singing the well-known notes of a gentle tune? Well, life is like that.

Why believe life is an intricate symphony with difficult harmonies?

Leave it as it is, without any dissonant chords, without any overdone accompaniment. The air, the sun, the ocean, the rich earth – that would be the beautiful background against which to highlight the more or less bright melody of our lives. Keep in mind I am referring to an inner brilliance that never lights the surface. There are lusterless things and lives whose moral brilliance, were it visible, would blind us.

The song I am talking about is like that – it shines within us. If you are afraid to sing it, do as I tell you: sing it softly. You will see how soft it is, you will see that you have always known all its notes, and that only a few mistaken notions were enough to confuse you, making you sing false notes, out of tune.

Pay no attention to the melodies sung by others while you are intoning your own. We have all been taught where to sing the highs and the lows, but why not try to give it a new interpretation, our own? We are not all one melody, each of us is one melody. Let us sing it our way, without being afraid that “people are listening.” Sing it without fear, and, as this simple song comes forth freely from you like a spring, neither fearful nor filled with expectations, you will find more than one instinct in you that will
rise to sing with you, joyful and free, and then you will realize that you had no need to learn that music, because that music is us, though sometimes we sing it too fast and other times too slowly, not at the right tempo or softly enough.

Do not raise your voice, not even in retaliation, whose muddled rhythm would be useless now, or even to apologize for having sung the wrong notes that did not belong in the score because you had to go through them anyway. And if a moment truly bitter and harsh came to you with its piercing rhythm, keep in mind that every song has resting measures but they never end the song. There is always more music beyond, more simplicity, more gentleness. Wait until they reach you.

Because life is like that, a simple song. Sing it softly.

Carmela Valdés-Gallol de Rodríguez
Havana 1936

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