“…We are listening to our fear of life and death, our lack of faith, our smaller ego’s will to prevail. To listen to the soul is to stop fighting with life—to stop fighting when things fall apart; when they don’t go our way, when we get sick, when we are betrayed or mistreated or misunderstood. To listen to the soul is to slow down, to feel deeply, to see ourselves clearly, to surrender to discomfort and uncertainty, and to wait.” Elizabeth Lesser Broken Open
From the first sound I heard, I began a journey to explore and develop the ability to discern the timbre of music, noise and the sounds of daily life. I really wish that I was encouraged to listen to the Light within better and to trust it. My world was a culturally mixed world. In 1962 I remember our family vacations staying with Norman, my maternal Great Grandfather who was a Native American from Upstate New York and my Nana during our summers in New York. I stayed with them in their lovely spacious three story brownstone in Crown Heights on President Street while going to a YMCA day camp. Norman would tell me stories about finding and hearing “My inner light” and how that light was something that I should learn to listen to and to trust. My father believed differently and frowned and discouraged me from listening to that “Crazy Indian”. It wasn’t until recently, some fifty years later, I reconnected and began hearing my Inner Spirit ~ that “Still Small Voice”. I know this now coz we are all searching for the truth in our hearts and experiencing our intuitive self-expression. We crave a deeper understanding of life, ourselves as well as of one another. In jazz, listening was the portal to experiencing life through: Rhythm, style, arrangement, sound, forms, arrangement and improvisation. Listening intentionally makes the sounds of life come true. Hearing is the foyer to listening in the parlor, where self-analysis leads to a better understanding of yourself and others. I had a conversation the other day and it felt as though they were not listening. I could tell from the questions they asked. It has become commonplace and superficial in its nature. Your voice is not heard because of the weeds that grow out of only hearing, and not engaging. It is a symphony of cacophony. The sounds at the end of the day left me feeling barren and alone. I befriended my voice in my head, only to hear how sterile and contrived it had become. It was a conspiracy of nay-sayers that can bring only darkness to the light. Hard hearted they come and crowd my voice from my soul. It is only temporary and can turn on me at any given moment. Illusion personified by benign neglect. Reading aloud in a language you cannot speak. To have ears, that had become defended by the madness of society. Rationalizing the sounds in an attempt to make sense of something it will never possess. Now it has broken open the illusion of the life I have lived. Here is a free verse poem I wrote about “Listening to the Life Within”. Can you feel and hear the liminal spaces of our lives? Blessing to you all and have a super weekend. Till the next sound…Peace & Love Out! JBC 😎
Listening to the Life Within
By Jannat Marie
Life’s cadence moved clouds.
tonality and voicing askew.
Began as a thought.
Rhythm assigned to scented beats.
A picture in a thousand chords
Reveals culture’s war
emerging over time “freeing” the heat
flavored by emotional riffs.
Listening in seasoning thyme
Tasting metaphors and memories
hot crusted timbre singing
a cry of desperation.
Feeling the sounds glorious sun
seeing the warm breeze of acoustic phrases
senses filled with harmony
where meeting counterpoint to point
at the synergy of knowing
equality of rights anoint
Dancing in darkness
becomes a conspiracy of
living your truth.
© Copyright 2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.
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