Archive for music

A Whole New World

The other day I was walking down memory lane, singing one of my favorite Disney songs “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid. Classic.  There is something timelessly beautiful about Ariel’s curiosity about worlds beyond her eyes.

Then it occurred to me. Why the CRAP was Ariel’s home so polluted???? She lived under the sea, not in the town garbage dump! Sure, there was the occasional shipwreck that she and Flounder might have rummaged through but this chick had a whole cavern of gadgets and gizmos aplenty…whozits and whatzits galore! I wonder if we had the same curiosity about Ariel’s world as she had about ours if she would even have all that trash at her disposal to sing about.

When you look out onto the ocean, what is it you see? Colors? Waves? Seagulls? Perhaps. But what we see is nothing compared to what is. Those waves cover the world’s largest mountains ranges. The blues hide its deepest canyons. Marine plants provide half the oxygen you are breathing. Sebastian and Flounder are among more than 1 million plants and animal species living there…and because much of the ocean is still unexplored, there are likely 9 million species waiting to be discovered.

Our curiosity about worlds beyond our eyes creates the largeness of our lives. In many cases, it is our questions that preserve the future that allows for their answers. Languages and species do not become extinct when we care enough to discover them. Cultures and traditions live in the sharing and understanding of them. What worlds are you interested in or currently discovering? So often we get caught up in the routines of our lives and forget there are whole new worlds waiting for us to find them and love them. Ariel’s discoveries of small knick-knacks set the stage for dreams fulfilled. What unexplored questions about the world around you will set the stage for yours?

 

Need inspiration? Here is how one family’s curiosity about worlds beyond their eyes is feeding and educating nations living in extreme poverty around the globe.

The Movement of One Day’s Wages from One Day’s Wages on Vimeo.

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Cracking Up

It’s a well known fact that the majority of people would actually rather face the grave than stand in front of a crowd and try to convey an idea or sing a song with sweaty palms, blushing cheeks, and the infamous cracking voice.

After talking to a voice teacher I learned, however, that the cracking voice is actually the sign of something incredible making its way to the surface. Its our most beautiful voice pushing through. You see, our authentic voice is produced by air flowing through a long, complicated tunnel that starts at the pit of our bellies, goes over our larynx, passes our vocal cords and finally comes out our nose and mouth. When that tunnel is fully open, our true voice has the space to make its way through. The problem is that 99% of the time we walk around utterly terrified of one another for one reason or another and our muscles tense up, blocking the flow of air through the tunnel. Sometimes you can feel the butterflies in the pit of your stomach that knot up our tunnel. Other times tense muscles in our neck block out our voice. Sometimes something as simple as our stand-off nature becomes detectable in our pitch. No matter where the tension is in the flow, the result is the same: suppressed, muffled voices posing as safe placeholders for true selves. Fear literally puts barriers in the way of our most clear voice.

When a singer or a speaker stands up on stage and their voice cracks, it is like a hiccup being pushed out of the way of the air flow. Somewhere, tension and nerves have caused their tunnel to tighten and that cracked voice is in fact victory pushing its way through. It doesn’t usually feel victorious when people laugh at the crack up. But the crack is actually fear being pushed aside so that one’s greatest voice has a place to shine. Its the tense moment right before a person gives up their nerves, tensions, and expectations and relaxes enough to simply be themselves.

Next time I hear a singer’s voice crack, I’ll applaud in my heart. In fact, I hope my own life can become filled with crack ups. Opportunities for cracking up only come when you live your life out loud, standing in front of your fears and pushing through them. Its only in allowing myself to crack up, that the beauty inside can make room in the world to be heard.

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One Man Band

I was walking around Greenlake one afternoon when I heard him.  He stood on the side of the path covered in makeshift instruments from head to toe. His guitar laid across his chest like a breastplate. Attached to his foot was a string that led up his body to a drum stick that rested next to a small drum hanging from his shoulder. He wore a cymbal like a crown atop his head. The rhythm that filled his soul as he strummed his guitar was made evident to the world as he marched in place, triggering the beating of the drum and sounding of his cymbal. His spirit created music for park visitors, not only to be heard but experienced. We experienced him…who he was really…not a carefully crafted conversation that voiced as much as it concealed. He gave us the song of his soul and carried us away in his melody. He was a one-man band, carving out a little spot for himsef in the corner of the park but demanding the attention of everyone in it.

How powerful his presence was. How powerful each of our soul songs are. We may not all strap up with instruments in the morning but we just as powerfully set the atmosphere for those who pass by, by choice or by default.  With every word we choose, every choice of intonation, smile or lack there of, every captured eye to eye glance, we play our song. We play our blues in the key of gripes and complaints. We electrify environments with words of affirmation and our decisions to create possibilities through optimism. What song are those around you hearing from you today? Are people inspired to do the polka or salsa after being in your presence? Or is your song out of key? Need a tune up? The world is marching to the sound of your drum. Where are you leading it?

A classic

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