Wednesday’s Write Where You Are workshop session was absolutely awesome. The homework assignment to the group was to find a favourite piece of music, listen to it, choose a lyric, phrase, chorus or simply breathe in the essence of the song, and write what comes up. In other words, write where you are! I asked the group to also bring the full lyrics and a CD which contained their chosen music, to the next class.
What a beautiful, heartfelt afternoon it was! It seems all of them are, but what other than music could bring us into an instantaneous opening of our hearts?
All participants but one did the homework. The others, after much deliberation, were able to choose a “favourite song” or at least one they resonated with the most at that time.
After our usual settling in meditation, followed by a go-around to give each person a moment to check in about their week, we addressed the musical homework. One at a time, each person played the CD containing the song they chose. As we all listened carefully, some of us had gentle tears, evoked by the lyrics, or the poignant music, that accompanied each song.
When the song ended, the person who brought it in, followed our sacred ritual of making eye contact in silence, with each person in our sacred circle to feel their support and love. Then she or he read what they had written. Wow! That in turn evoked more visceral responses from the rest of us. Then we shared our thoughts and feelings with the writer, always with respect, love and encouragement.
During our initial go-around, one of the members of the group told us he didn’t find time to do the homework. Immediately inspired I told him, “No matter. I have something in mind”.
After everyone had their turn, I said to the gentleman who had not chosen a song to write about, “So, Russ (not his real name), if you were to choose a song right now, what would it be”?
Without a moment’s hesitation, he wistfully answered, “Dave Brubeck, Take Five”.
While moving toward the computer I inquired, “Can you tell us about it”?
He said, “Oh, there are no lyrics”.
A moment later, by way of the invaluable YouTube, we were watching and listening to a 1972 live performance of Dave Brubeck’s Quartet playing Take Five in Greenwich Village, New York City.
I looked over at Russ. His eyes were closed and he looked like he was in bliss. When the song ended, with eyes still closed, he took us into the story of when he was a 14-year-old boy, leaving his home in Prince Rupert to spend the summer with his sister and brother-in-law in Manhattan. He said he never would have known a place with the urbanity of New York City existed. He became immersed in the extremes of the commerce culture of Wall Street and to the Beat Generation of Greenwich Village. He then shared his most outstanding memory. The time, his sister and brother-in-law took him to a smoky blues and jazz club in the heart of Greenwich Village where Dave Brubeck was actually playing, Take Five.
I’ve been considering taking out stocks in Kleenex.