Margie Litt sings her way down the path of recovery. 

Margie at Seattle Art Museum after Spring Voices Performing Arts Showcase, 2018.

Margie at Seattle Art Museum after Spring Voices Performing Arts Showcase, 2018.

Margie grew up in a highly dysfunctional and abusive household. Throughout her life, her brothers were in and out of juvenile detention, jail, and prison. She struggled with homelessness, addiction, and illness and would often try to harm herself to deal with the pain of her circumstances. Her body is still trying to get rid of the anguish and hurt she experienced, but Margie has managed to stay sober for eight years and six months. According to Margie, her sobriety and recovery are due in large part to the community support from organizations like Path with Art, Recovery Café, the Matt Talbot Center, and more.

“When you come from a dysfunctional background, it’s like a sore that hardly heals, but eventually it starts to… Even though sometimes I want to give up, I know people would wonder where I am. Having community helps you stay alive.”

Margie saw pamphlets for Path with Art at Recovery Café, and had friends encourage her to sign up, but she refused for years. She felt as though she was not worthy. She thought, “Who am I to say that I’m anything, anyway? Who am I to participate in something like this?”

Margie grew up listening to old blues, her mother wrote classical music, and she was in and out of different gospel choirs sporadically throughout her adulthood. Though it had been a while, she returned to music, eventually joining the Path with Art Singers – the student choir that brings people together from many different walks of life – and has been a member since.

She recalls a time when she was living in homelessness, looking up at Benaroya Hall from the street, wondering what it would be like to spend time inside such a beautiful place. Margie was blown away when Rebekka Goldsmith, former director of the Path with Art Singers, told her that she and rest of the choir would be performing at Benaroya Hall in 2017 for We Are All Here. She was stunned at the thought that she would be performing on the Seattle Symphony stage, and found herself wondering during the performance, “Am I allowed to do this? Am I allowed to be here?”

Margie will take the stage again in November at Seattle Art Museum, with the rest of the Path with Art Singers, to share the gift of her voice under the direction of the new choir director, Erica Merritt. According to Margie, the most crucial factor for her is feeling like she can live again—she is now in stable housing, and has community support, a space to breathe without anxiety, and the will to carry on. She still struggles with depression, and still feels as though she is not worthwhile sometimes, but continues to sing her way down the path to recovery and dignity.