Tuesday 28 May 2013

The Youth or Aged in me

I was the youngest person in the crowd, the youngest on a Sunday afternoon at a classical music celebration. The grey hair of wisdom moved around me and filled the wooden seats and I wondered – why was I the youngest in the room? An hour and a half of “music therapy” ensued, the sound of the playful flute, the weeping violin, the cheeky guitar followed by a concerto of voices that filled the amphitheatre a cappella.  
What is it that drew me to this place of sound on a Sunday afternoon? And I begged the question of myself, why was I the youngest?

Is it the childlike state of old age that draws us back to our innate appreciation of that which is beautiful? The natural beauty of music that evolves in melodies unfathomable, which in its purest form, only the childlike can perceive? Much like the world famous violinist who stood on the railway station, playing the most intricate of pieces, on a 3.5 million dollar violin for some change, who went unnoticed by the throngs. Except there were those who heard the sounds of the virtuoso and wanted to stop. Not to throw in some change or because they recognised the violinist but because their beings recognised that which was beautiful. And they were the children. 

As the poet Billy Collins mused all babies are born with a knowledge of poetry, because the lub – dub of the mothers heart is an iambic meter, it is life that slowly starts to choke the poetry out of us.” Children have the ability to perceive the beautiful and the strange and the confidence to stare at it, even to their parents’ shame. I perceived myself as the child among the aged and my soul was listening, to the sounds of rhythms, tones and sweet harmonies from the creators of music. And at once with the turning of the string, I found myself as a kin among the aged, knowing the burden of life and feeling all its heaviness and my soul sighed. 

Whomever I was, aged or child; I have returned to the childlike being inside of me – the one who admires beauty in all its glory and who is not afraid to stare or to sit on a wooden chair on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy the musings of music and all its fancy and I smile because I have come home.

The Gender Neutral Bible Controversy

(My whimsical meditations on the issue from an English teachers perspective!)
The Gender – Sensitive Mother
Much like the embracing mother who gathers all her children within her arms showing no favouritism or regard, English gathers all of us into her bosom, allowing us to be fed with fresh milk, whilst resting comfortably upon her aged chest. The progression of a language both stable and evolving has made way for all to be included, through gender-sensitivity and thoughtfulness.
The completion of the world’s first, comprehensive English Bible hundreds of year ago, threw the religious hierarchy into a chaotic stupor! Throwing open the way for man and God to meet upon the common ground, called English. And once again as the religious world clamours among itself, the world is embracing the publication of its very own gender-sensitive Bible; allowing all to meet again upon His common ground. And who better to provide the means of Divine unity - then our mother English!
As a daughter whose voice has strained to be heard through the patriarchal gateways of society, who have blocked out the light; mother English threw open the windows and light shone in. Through the windows of gender accuracies and sensitivity, we have moved from defeated victim to overcoming survivor. She has at once acknowledged her daughters leadership and rearranged the cabinet, allowing us to move from “chairman” to “chairperson,” from enfranchised “sons” to the all inclusive “children” of God. She calls us “humankind” and not “mankind” she speaks to us as “people” and does not address us as “men.” As possessing “human authority,” seeing us as gifted and not excluded, throwing out the menhir, making way for the daughters of hers.
Oh mother English has seen our woes and answered us with comforting words so! In as much as she herself was created through diversity, through controversy and pain; a child born to different parents, left to fend for itself, borrowing and including, remodelling and refusing. She sought a path of purpose, a path of voice; a path called inclusion for all her children and they reach out to her, kiss her lips, rest upon her bosom and call her blessed.

Monday 27 May 2013

I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou

 I have not read Maya Angelou all that often - but tonight I found two poems of hers and felt dumb - founded. So many of her thoughts and sentiments I have found echoed in my own poetry - funny. This poem was amazing, a few weeks ago I wrote a piece for the Freedom Exhibition, entitled The Age of Innocence. It was (and is!) a God - inspired piece about sex trafficking, with images of birds, freedom and prison. This piece by Maya Angelou just cemented much for me this evening.... Enjoy.....

 The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hill for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Friday 3 May 2013

it's time for the Sabbath!!

Shabbat Shalom All!!

Let us rejoice and exult in His set - apart Rest!