This really resonated with me and brought me back to my senior paper. Music used in the community setting as the Mapuche do even if it is simplistic so people can participate rather than the theory, complexity, and satisfaction value music has in the Western world.
As far as the retreat yesterday, wowzers! Lots of realizations, some of which I'll admit I'm not quite ready to disclose to the whole world wide web, but I can share if someone asks me. But here is an excerpt from my journal yesterday:
"We had a session today that made us cry, examine, listen, dig, dig some more, create, laugh, and really get to know one another as real human beings. SOme excellent questions came to the surface and I want to articulate them here. I'll start on the happy, lighter side of things. What brings me joy?
I started with the trite (but true) response of cute, little animals, children laughing and exploring the world. Those are all true statements! Connecting with people, going on adventures, having meaningful conversations. But as I dug deeper and the same question was repeated to me, my ultimate joy was uncovered: the feeling I get when I play music with no preoccupations, doubts or boundaries. There are no limits, not even the grandiose horizon is in sight. Just merely the notes that create a space where any emotion can be unleashed and the true radiance and golden light that fills my whole inner being and is truly indescribable, try as I might.
The second question was what gives my life meaning and through many activities today the same idea reverberated: relationships. Of course of loved ones, but also of flighting ones. People who came in, perhaps lingered, and then walked right out of my life and the appreciation I have in sharing whatever that moment brought to light: a meaningful conversation or discussion, a memorable walk, a significant friendship despite the duration, a philosophical challenge or a new way to think about a jaded topic. The fact that I realized in my E Africa solo trip of music being a common thread that connects us together.
And somehow combining these relationships and this common thread to creation, Mother Earth, nature. From the purple-colored mountains in the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness to the true aqua waters of Lake Colca and Torres del Paine; from the sunset in San Pedro de Atacama to the vast, savannas of Tanzania, from the silverback gorillas branch thrashing millimeters from my face to the moonlike quality of the Tongariro Crossing and the mere awe of the glowworm caves; from the fine sands of Nahat to the breadth of the aquatic world beneath us in Zanzibar; from the African mamas with a three meter sugar cane atop their heads and their brilliant, colorful dresses to the spicy salsa dancers and dancing on the roof till 5 AM; from the crowded daladalas and micro rides to the kitchen of a true Italian, these are only a snapshot of what I've experienced in my 24 years of age. But they are all of our beautiful world that surrounds each and every day and the palette of emotions.
We also talked about what limited us and I fall back on this societal norms, knowing I'm not normal idea and afraid to do something because of what someone else might think. I have made great progress, but I think I can go further. I need to embrace my eccentricities and LIVE it, not shy away from it and try to covertly abscond it. I am SO the OPPOSITE of apathetic, disinterested and unambitious-I need to let that shine!
I also came back to the idea of not only a purposeful life, but a balanced one. When I was asked the question what keeps me off-purpose, I stated it was okay for me to take a break becaues I am constantly going 1000+ mph and sometimes I need to breathe, albeit not nearly as long as the avg person but 1-2 hrs is a good thing. I"m so "on" sometimes, constantly philosophizing, reflecting and learning (and that's a gift not to let life just pass me by). But i need to remember the downtime is essential in this balanced life as is activity that is not necessarily purposeful."
I would love feedback, comments, and anything else that this made people think of, that they are struggling with or thinking about in their own lives. That's the only reason I posted a personal journal entry word-for-word here.
It's getting colder here! Autumn has arrived, but the days are GORG!
Signing off from my new home in JP where I have this new routine of being up before 7 AM,