Every atom in my body vibrated to his breath
His voice echoed in my mind…reaching out to me
“A Love Supreme, a love supreme…”
First silently, than aloud. I let the words wash over me like a mantra, caressing me like my man’s hands. The grace and beauty of that moment was so natural – not some forced affirmation to spite the hardened surface circumstances of my life, but a bubbling up of a deep content. Every now and again we human beings are given a glimpse of the Divine, even within our confusion, deep despair, and caged sadness. I stand in awe of those moments of grace. From sounds of freedom…Amandla!…to the wall of sound, music can take you there, even when the music is just a hum in the backdrop of your mind.
Music is a mathematical equation born of sound, air, time and space. Like aromatherapy, music excites or comforts. It’s an “aural” therapy that can take you to places of remembrances and spaces of healing in your mind and body. African people wherever we find ourselves in the world seem to have a running soundtrack to our lives that reflects life’s complexities: the sunshine and the rain. (Thanks Frankie B. for the Zen lesson).
Remembrances. Heard the Blues for the first time at the backyard barbeques at my great aunts’ in Compton among the grown folks conversation and card games and I can’t hear “Function At The Junction” without thinking of the Val Verde dances and seeing my Mom and Dad dancing together. Ray Charles at the park, Miles Davis at the Bowl, Fela Kuti at the Olympic Auditorium (three songs that lasted four hours!). Saw Tito Puente but missed Cecila Cruz. Danced to the drums of my ancestors as Elvin Jones passed the baton to Olodum in Portuguese.
I end as I began with the words of John Coltrane. “May we never forget that in the sunshine of our lives, through the storm and after the rain – it is all with God – in all ways and forever.”