So many exciting things have happened in the past few days, it’s been almost surreal. You know I constantly remind myself that life is this mad and fantastic dance that we are all apart of you and you can either get out there and move to the beat, fumble over everyone else’s steps or stand on the side and watch… and for me its been about closing my eyes and doing a slow grind with uncertainty.
In the past few weeks I have come to appreciate the feeling of spontaneity and Tuesday night was one of those nights. A new friend invited me out to a concert at the Barbican Centre, which is in the heart of London. The concert was titled Singing the Truth, a concert to honor the women who changed the music of the 20th Century.
The concert was put on by three amazing women; all of whom were talented and distinguished in their own right. Dianne Reeves, Angelique Kidjo and Lizz Wright. Each woman had their own distinct style, sass and most importantly voice… and let me tell you they knew how to use it! They brought down the house with songs from Miriam Makeba to my personal favorite Billie Holiday.
Being at that concert in retrospect was more uplifting and spiritually moving than it seemed when I was sitting there. They were forces… wild and untamed and their voices had the intensity and power of thousand winds. I was certainly moved and more than once I had to put my soul hand up to catch the spirit of what was being given to us.
I left there with the unshakable sense of limitless power. The enlightened feeling that anything I want can be mine. They said it themselves, that you just have to dream, but among all else you must love! And love was the theme of the night, as I was in Love with their performance and the energy that they generated in that pristine concert hall. I thought as I walked away about the enchanting quality of singing… how you essentially cast your soul out to a crowed and lull them into a trance reciting to them your story along the way. Something about that excites me… the power of story-telling… the charm of the spoken word.
I want to sing now. I want to give my words to the world and allow people to feel it deep in their souls. To move and to feel is to dance and to dance is to live… live the dream that we are all so eager to dream. Our voice is unique to each of us and that to trust in that voice is to truly rock out in life!
The remainder of the night was equally moving because I got to walk in the city and see nothing but the glow of lights from the inside. Night life is always different than what you see in the day and I realized that there is a much more calming and subtle energy that pulses through London at night… its not the jarring energy that you find in other cities like New York. It’s Just something peaceful.
We made our way through the rambling mass of streets and all the sensational buildings; everything ancient, worn and regal. To me the buildings exude a warm beauty that is found in very few places in the States. My friend thought it was funny that I was so inspired by the buildings… he said that it isn’t as pretty as America. But I had to disagree.
We ended our night at a little Pub. Which was everything that I imagined a London pub to be. It was all brass and wood and just down right gorgeous again. So we sat and had a drink and we talked about life, design and literature. And my friend quoted to me lines from Virginia Woolf.
We had an intriguing conversation about her works and we talked about taking a Mrs. Dalloway’s walk around London… which is a book by VW about a day in London. He also retold an amazing scene from the movie The Hours about VW’s life and so when I returned home I watched the scene on YouTube and I was totally moved. Here it is for you to see….
I just want to say that VW was an extremely talented woman and before my lovely night with my friend I knew very little about her. She lived at a time where her mental state became her curse and she literally became a prisoner in her own life because the people around her had their ideas of what was best for her. She just wanted to live her life in the chaos of London, regardless of how others thought that affected her fragile state of mind. And eventually she took her life because it was too hard for her to bear… though it was late in her years.
I can relate to Virginia because I think that it’s a common feeling to feel trapped in your circumstance. And so you find you way out whether it is writing or strolling the city. What I took from her is that you must be relentless in your pursuit to be who you are, to have your own life and your own mind. You must have a strong sense of conviction to what is important to you.
“And that was what she often felt the need of-to think; well, not even to think. To be silent; to be alone. All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself. When life sank down for a moment, the range of experience seemed limitless.”
© Shaheen Miro 7/7/2011