Often while at the beach uncalled for thoughts slip into my mind. These thoughts comfort me when every door seems not only sealed but invisible. When every heart I hope to reach a stony, cold fortress and every face lifeless and mute. “I am a musician and, dammit-all, I believe in all things impossible!” When that siren calls I turn up the music in my headphones and walk. Sometimes I don’t know what it is I hope to find as I walk.
I refuse to believe the images paraded in the media or on social platforms. Silly boys disguised as men offering sage advice so others can get laid with minimal effort. My friend once asked me why I follow these chaps on Twitter (when clearly they are idiots). My answer is simple. I like knowing how other people’s minds operate – especially when I am at odds with how they view the world. This is how I practice tolerance…
I don’t think anyone can escape knowing that dearest Nelson Mandela died. I am not about to discount his contribution to a seemingly united South Africa. That would be folly and arrogance of the highest degree! But can I say what everyone’s thinking? I am so, so, so very bored with it! Bored with the reminders. Bored with the fake sincerity offered by celebrities and politicians. Bored with the pictures of grief or gratitude unfolding. Dammit, we know what should be done! The voters know it and the politicians know it. Rumi once said “Unfold your own myth” and this is something I am trying to do in my own life. Shouldn’t we all? Every time I question my daughter’s choices (or bug her as she would claim) all I am hoping she will do is walk her own path, find her way and damn the rest to hell! Even if that excludes me.
When I walk on the beach or follow the rants of people on various social networks, I detach and observe. The question that often pops into my mind is this – how free are you really? My folks, hell they are controlling and they mean that in the way only parents do. They want what they think is best for me. When I declared I want to be a musician all my Mother faithfully said was, “Okay Auriol” while my Father mumbled that I need to get a real job. When I came home with a boyfriend of a very different racial background, not a word was uttered. I think my parents liked the idea that I am open and progressive. When I declared my love for all things Ben Harper my Mother ushered me into a corner and confessed conspiratorially, “I had a boyfriend who was Muslim once and looked a lot like that Ben of yours…”
The point I am making is this. It took me a long time to uncover how conditioned I am. Even though it is still a work in progress, I am able to appreciate the chains that culture and religion offers but decline their comfort nevertheless. It took even longer to free myself of the notions of how a lady should behave or how best a musician should prostitute themselves in order to survive. In short I walk alone and live on my terms. I wish others would forge their own destiny and all that jazz…but who knows how many lifetimes it took for me to get to this point hmm?
The song that resonates deeply with me is Nina Simone’s Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood. For the longest time I tried my best to convey my deep desires to those I cared for. I would call, email or even try to find the music for it. Yet even this idea has been abandoned. I refuse to be trapped by my ego – always on the defensive. However, the path to being truly free is not a popularity show and some have voted me off their island! Trust me, I too have lost myself to the ramblings of my mind, my heart or emotions. Many times in fact! But my guardians ( a fancy name for really cool friends and family) are never too far. So I get to remain sane – most of the time…
There is little I have control over but never again will I be a coward or allow other people’s choices or agendas to render me helpless. My path is a lonely one…but at least when I walk along the beach, write music, love those I chose to – I do so freely. Can you say the same? And if not, what will you about it?