Sunday, December 4, 2016

Jazz and God

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I knew little about jazz when I met my husband, other than I enjoyed listening to it.  Jazz made me feel calm. The extent of the jazz artists I knew and enjoyed were Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday.  Their music spoke to me of rising above the turmoil, of being connected no matter your color, belief, or any of the isms.  Jazz united people and sang to their souls.

When Roger introduced me to John Coltrane, I was in awe.  The manner by which he played the saxophone wrapped around me, opening my mind and spirit to possibilities hidden deep within.  The first time he played, Coltrane's Love Supreme for me, the emotions ebbed and flowed through me.  This was divine music!

As an interfaith minister, I was taught that we meet people on their path and assist them in whatever way we can with whatever tools we have.  For me, music is a great tool for healing, forgiveness and spreading the Love of the Source of all love - Love Supreme - God's Love in whatever form that takes for a person. 

John Coltrane did just that with his music.  He saw that his was a gift to share in order to bring people together.  He resolved to create music that would touch the mind, heart and soul. He pursued a dream of sharing this knowledge and love with others. He created jazz that took the form of sound psalms.  Is it any wonder that in the African Orthodox Church canonized him a saint?

Today, I give thanks for the women and men, like John Will I Am Coltrane,  who offer their music so that the world can find:
  • Acknowledgement - the ability to see that there is more than simply us in the Universe - to see the connections we have with all creation; 
  • Resolution - the ability to find peace through acceptance and forgiveness; 
  • Pursuance - the ability to move forward - to reach for what seems unattainable - to continue when giving up would be so much easier; and 
  • Psalm - the ability to sing our own song of Praise and Love to the world - songs of Love Supreme. 

Blessings all-ways!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Be at Peace - Live Brave

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As we sat watching the series, Eli Stone, a story of a young lawyer who discovers he is a prophet for his time, I was touched by the wisdom the writers of the show wove into the plot.  I was also amazed at how pertinent the lessons of the episodes were to this moment in time.

At one point, Eli's boss states, "In business, there is still room for humanity.  Capitalism without mercy is tantamount to evil."  The boss then goes on to shake things up by turning the huge legal firm into a pro bono firm fighting for the underdogs.

One could morph this quote into, "In politics, there is still room for humanity.  Democracy without mercy is tantamount to evil."  

As a nation, as a society, and individually, we must reconnect with our humanity.  We are all in this together.  We are all connected, one to the other. 

The dictionary definition of mercy is, "compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm." 

Compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, unity are all virtues that we must exemplify if we are to regain our humanity.

Eli's spiritual guide tells him to "Be at Peace. Live Brave."  As we move forward into the new year, we must remember these words, "Be At Peace. Live Brave." We must wake up and face the immediacy of the situation we are in, so that we might bring about change before the very foundation and principles upon which our country was build and exists are undermined. We must protect our democracy, which is precariously teetering on the brink of collapse. 

Thomas Jefferson once wrote that, "the cost of liberty is constant vigilance." 

Be at Peace - Live Brave!