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At the end of the kirtan last night at The Yoga Place in North Canton, OH, I mentioned that I like being in the area. Someone said “Why don’t you move here?” My impulse response was “If you move the ocean here, I’ll think about it.” I feel most at peace and most able to uncover a sense of union with All when I am on the shoreline. On the edge of the continent, cool and sandy earth, vast sky, fiery sun warmth, and infinite-seeming water couldn’t be more clear expressions of the makings of all life. Rarely do I ever feel homesick, as I am generally happy to be wherever I am, experiencing what is there. In that moment of remembering the shore, though, I had a twinge of it. It suddenly felt alien to be more than seven hours from the closest ocean. How fitting that as I drove over the Ben Franklin Bridge this evening NPR was playing an interview with Bruce Springsteen on the making of Darkness on the Edge of Town. It was good listening– I’d never considered his poetry that directly before. Welcome back to Jersey.
All four of the gigs on this mini-tour worked out very well. The people and the vibe to carry the evenings all showed up. I am never sure what my inner experience will be while I’m singing, so I let myself be surprised. Somewhere in the middle of leading chanting in Kent and in Toledo, the bemusement crept in.
What the heck am I doing up here? Why am I singing mantra again? How did all this even happen? Am I here to facilitate spiritual experience? No, I just sing. Whatever – Time to stop analyzing – Sheesh.
It is the old familiar WTF that I try to treat as I would any thought in meditation – see it, breathe, and let it go. It’s not an easy one to let go. Sometimes I need to run through the timeline in my head just a little—remembering the visions, the love, the white light, the dreams that swept me into recognizing that Spirit would be more a part of my music and overall being than I’d ever known.
Why does all this still surprise me?
Thankfully, the surprise washed through and moved along, swept up and sublimated in the ocean of sound. All the events this time out were sweet experiences. House of Yoga in Berkely, MI near Detroit was an ideal in many ways – not the least of which was for the chance to see some amazingly cool black squirrels nearby the next day! But I digress—the musical joy was that I was able to sing nearly an hour set of songs and then the same time was given to chanting. It feels wonderfully dynamic and balancing when these elements are invited together and I intend to develop the show and do more in this format. North Canton was a straight-up kirtan after which there was a sense of exuberance and deep fellowship in the air.
All the people I met or had the chance to see again on this trip are good, good, solid, loving beings. I am blessed to have found a path that leads me to them. Some kind of general positivity swirls for me in the Cleveland area and into some margin beyond. It is where the Devo fans gather for the annual DEVOtional. It is where kirtan connections have led to knowing kind people on rich paths. It is where whenever I am linked up with a musician for a gig, we usually sound like automatic magic. I may be a coastal being, but I will be back to be part of these circles as I am able.