Chloë Goodchild has been a hera of mine for over fifteen years. I was first introduced to her through my aromatherapy teacher, Jacqueline Tara Herron, in Birmingham back in 1994, through a cassette of Chloë singing her own settings of Robert Bly’s translations of poetry by Rumi. It affected me very deeply. I bought her autobiographical account of how her work with sound developed, The Naked Voice, and was entranced.
A few years later, I saw her training for voice workers advertised around Bath, where I was living then. I can’t remember why I didn’t apply; I was probably busy enough with training as an Interfaith Minister at the time. She popped up in my life again at the end of that training, singing at our ordination; my admiration for her was confirmed, but again, I didn’t pursue any connection, too full from the shifts in me from that initiation into ministry and service.
I’ve kept looking at her website on and off, though, over the last 10+ years. A deep shift occurred in me a fortnight ago; feeling it, I looked up her website again, and, lo and behold, there was a weekend workshop coming up not 35 miles away – far out in rural Dumfriesshire. This was far too good a piece of synchronicity to miss. I booked immediately.
Part of the shift I felt may have been our older dog, Bella, preparing to move on: on Wednesday, 18th May she passed away, after long months of decreasing mobility and a short illness. I wasn’t sure about going to the workshop only two days after her death: I wasn’t confident of my ability to be sociable, and didn’t want to leave my partner and our other dog for too long. But my partner encouraged me to go, and he was right.
It was an amazing, joyful experience. The stillness and devotional chanting and Shintaido movements and work with modes and freeing our voices all combined with the loving presence of Chloë and Masashi (Minagawa, Shintaido Master), and the beautiful souls attending the workshop to enable me to feel my grief, yet also to feel joy, and peace.
Chloë and Masashi are in Edinburgh next weekend, and other opportunities to work with them are listed on the events page of Chloë’s website. If you get the chance to work with them, I urge you to take it.