Recently a 35,000-year-old flute was discovered in western Germany. The meticulously carved flute was found near fragments of other musical instruments and a female figurine proving music flourished even in the earliest days of human history.
You have no idea how happy this makes me. While I never doubted that people have always made music - lifting voices in song, clapping hands and stomping feet – to see that even from our earliest days we took the time out of our busy schedules of hunting, gathering, and running from saber-toothed tigers to make musical instruments, carve sculpture and paint the walls delights me and gives me reason for eternal optimism.
Music has always been a part of my - life from childhood songs to music lessons (violin, piano and voice) to the Boardman Orchestra to musical theater to dance classes. My Sermons and Podcasts often include songs and music accompanies me thought my day. Rarely a day goes my without song and I cannot imagine a world without music and birdsong and dance.
I feel rhythm and flow in my work and often hear bits of poetry in my readings and while I often resort to cheap laughs and stories in my teaching and lectures, I love a nicely turned phrase and strive for a rising crescendo when I lecture and teach. Even now I'm trying to figure out how to shoehorn a song into my lecture at ULE (I even have the perfect song to go with my topic – Ethics and Responsibilities of the Modern Mystic. You wouldn't think I could find a song for that topic, but you'd be wrong.).
Lately, I've been going out dancing more. Heather and I have been hitting a new club and a few old ones trying to find a dj who will work with us. No oldies, no radio edits and nothing too slow, thank you very much. I love a good mix of different styles, tempos and beats. My modern dance teacher wanted us to be able to dance to anything, so we moved to radio jingles from the 40s and 50s, aboriginal chants, Euro pop and everything in between. Dancing in silence with nothing but your heartbeat and the sounds of your body and breath providing the beat. Ballet and ballroom and folk and country line dancing – trying to find the limits of what you can do and what you can move to – all the while striving to hear the heartbeat of the Earth beneath you. Moving to the sounds of nature and feeling the Connection.
Last night was for live music at the Boom Room - Jann Klose and with Chris Marolf on upright bass (Chris also had a kora, this awesome, handmade African stringed instrument made just for him) with dancing after (and why is the dance floor always empty these days?). Jann was amazing, as ever. I love the diversity of age at his shows and how rapt the audience is. Usually, when you see a band in a bar half the audience is just there to drink and talk, leaving the band to fight to be heard over the noise, but the room is quiet when he plays. People listen, you can feel the sounds soaking in as if each person is pulling the music in rather than letting it flow over or be ignored as background.
I've seen Jann play a few times now, we always talk after the show and we're on each other's mailing lists, so there's this strange sense that we know each other even though we've probably spent little more than an hour talking, total, over the last few years. The magic of this medium is how close you can feel to someone you barely know and how even something as ephemeral as e-mail can foster the sense of Connection.
I'm teaching again and we've been talking in class about how to connect and what it feels like, how do you know when you've connected with a client? How can you be sure you are connected to your divine source? What does Connection feel like? So last week I made them dance (and this time it WORKED! Sorry first class, erk.) I dressed it up as a psychic development exercise, but it was a waltz. When two dance partners are Connected they move at the same time. While one may be leading and one following, they move as one organism. There is no pause or lag time between movements – it is a connection on the psychic level that translates beautifully into giving a psychic reading. It also teaches you to trust your self and your instincts with another person… and not worry about looking like a fool. You can't take yourself too seriously if you are going to be a psychic.
After the concert we went dancing. Moving to the music. Thinking of nothing but the other dancers and the next movement. Fitting yourself into the empty spaces on the dance floor. Flowing into the gaps and filling a space with motion. Responding to other movement or escaping to your own world you become a part of the universal dance. The flick of hair echoes the flutter of a leaf, the sinuous shake of a hip moves like rushing water wile an agile foot skips like a stone across the water. In every movement and every beat you can feel what our ancestors felt as they made music under a different sky, danced around a fire and felt a Connection.