Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Discovering the Spirit's Essence

I just spent the past hour and a bit in what is truly spiritual bliss. In my basement-cum-Art and Music room I sipped a wee dram of 15 year old Laphroaig while playing a combination of my guitars, banjo and tin whistle, with a nice little break thrown in where I enjoyed my dram further accompanied by a nice bowl in my pipe and listening to Flogging Molly. One can not find a truer religion anywhere in my opinion – drenched in song and a touch of spirit and smoke. This is how people should live their lives. My only regret, which isn't a large one, is that I didn't have a few friends with me to join in.

As people, we really tend to miss out on this kind of thing in both personal and social contexts. Music has been the basis for cultures since time began, woven in with other organic things such as story telling, dancing etc. I remember many of the kitchen celidhs we had back in my native Nova Scotia, and am saddened at how rare an occurrence such things tend to be these days. I'm truly disappointed in the way we now live – tied to televisions and our computers (yes, I know that there's a tad of irony here), iPod and cell phones – more connected but never further apart from one another. We have this sense of perpetual doing and motion, of convenience and sense that life is not being lived if not at full tilt constantly. We stress about health to the point that it makes us sick, sacrificing simple pleasures for material things, qualitative lives for longitivity …

People no longer know how to live acoustically. The power goes out or we forget a cell phone and we become lost and are overburdened with a sense of helplessness that is blasphemous against the backdrop of our evolution as a species. This is sad as with this, we have lost the essence of being human. No longer do we see the connection between one another as we speak through screens, shop on-line and buy anonymous food from our grocers.

Perhaps I'm a nostalgic old fool. The point is, making music together or alone, telling stories or reading Literature that transcends cultures, times and the limitations of both Hollywood and special effects adds a far more qualitative quantity to being than most forms of modern socialisation. This is not to say that watching television is bad or that Facebook is evil, but it is the monopolisation of these things in our lives that leaves us empty. Just like churches that no longer seem relevant and provide hollow senses of spirituality, these things too can leave us empty if it is all we have. We have five senses that need to be saturated and stimulated – responsibly and within reason of course – yet we inundate them with insubstantial fluff.

Look at cultural things such as the significance of the drum, circle, dancing, and so forth. There is a heritage found in all these things that make us human. There is even a relevance to the modern techno of the day, but within these beats the story has been lost. There needs to be that organic component – the stories, the vibration of metal strings or the reverberation of a skin tightened onto a frame, then struck, to provide substance. We are creatures of flesh and blood, bound by intimacy and emotion. What is a life if these aspects are excluded?

So, as the weekend approaches, I encourage you all to live. I have my ideas as to what life should be, and do not wish to push them upon my readers. However, I do ask, if you are feeling empty, to ask the root of this hollow. I do encourage you to live acoustically, independent of technology to some extent, and remember the warmth of another's hand, the sound of another's voice and the taste of something wonderful. Life is not simply auditory or visual, but something of substance. Seek that as you will in a way that suits you. If you decide this is best sated with a wee bit of Scotch and a pipe of tobacco while immersing yourself in the ambience of live music, than know that here you have a kindred spirit who wishes you well! It's not about how well you play, but rather, that you are making your own wee symphony.



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