Life, Death and Love…
What a nerve attacking, wracking thing…to sing at the memorial of the youngest son of my dearest friend of many years. He died from injuries sustained in a freak accident when the gas in the kitchen exploded due to a leak. Such a loss of a beautiful life. I shall dust off the cobwebs on my vocal cords and pay homage to his beautiful soul that flies free as we mourn his passing. He has left wonderful memories behind and he lives on in those.
I’m so grateful to know I shall be accompanied by the legendary luthier, Marc Maingard. Rehearsals were made possible courtesy of Skype. Technology. What a thing. My voice is taking it hard though. It’s tightened up from all the years of not singing. Pretty scary how the muscles deteriorate. I’ll be humming a lot in the next two days. Ommmmmmm … Maybe I should chant while I paint. It could have interesting consequences. Visions, dreams, messages from the Spirit World. Oooooooh. Spooky. For some. And yet…
Back to this dimension, this possibly parallel universe. One could go dotty thinking about all things esoteric and trying to figure out quantum anything, while that which is more important is right here, right now. Simple really.
Nothing wrong with sitting dreaming though, nothing wrong with conscious laziness. That’s the time we spend letting creativity lead our thoughts, giving birth to plans and dreams. I’m dreaming of many things. Projects galore. I write copious lists in my line-less journal, shopping lists as well as recipes, random thoughts, sketches for new paintings, drawings for the new horse shelter and shed using green building ideas that have been hanging around in my brain for some years now. Oh bliss! Getting things done is the thing. Ticking off the projects on the list. Some might take a long time to come to fruition, some bring immediate response, while some just move on to the next page, patiently waiting.
Life is awesome, sometimes sad, and at times an ecstatic journey. We just need to take that first step to start the trip to achieve our dreams. And we need to live in the moment and enjoy the ride, speak the language of kindness and love life. It all ends sometime.
Now is all we have and life is to be fiercely lived and passionately loved. Grab it, shake it, dance with it and sing out loud.
I rushed to get to the doctor this morning and he was late. He is only there for a half an hour in this little village. My heart rate was much higher than normal when he finally arrived because I had allowed myself to become stressed. In retrospect, while waiting, I could have taken the time to still my mind. I could have taken a breathing break.
We rush through life when I believe we shouldn’t need to. Living in a big city is not natural for my psyche, for sure. I’m still in a cave in my mind. I have lived and worked in London and Johannesburg, LA, Nashville and other European cities while performing and recording. I have spent time visiting in New York, marvelling at the traffic and the pace. I was so glad I was a musician and not a secretary, although I did once work for a few months as a receptionist for a newspaper while waiting for my showbiz life to unfold. As a performer I got to sleep late most days, party or visit at night after shows until all hours. Crazy, mad, fun, intense times. And sometimes I needed to rush. Through traffic, through scripts, through airports, through filming, through PR tours, through life.
Over the years life has changed somewhat. And I am older now. Now I stroke the cat, hug the dog, smile with my eyes closed and breeeeeaaaathe.
While life does continue to rush for many, here’s a way to cope. Simple breathing. Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hahn, is said to take three mindful breaths ever hour, no matter if he is in the middle of a lecture or elsewhere. It seems so easy when you read or hear it. In the beginning, some years ago, I would find myself having done two breaths and then losing focus, forgetting the third. Now I am better at it. Here, sitting at my desk, my fingers still, like a very mini meditation, I breathe and be in the moment, noticing sounds around me, letting thoughts go, noticing my breathing, in and out. “Just recognition, mere recognition, simple recognition of the presence of the in-breath and out-breath”. There. Three done.]
If you are stressed today, stroke the cat, hug the dog, and breeeaaathe.