Twenty years ago, I probably could have been described as clairvoyant. But although the messages which came to me were incisively clear, they were never “sweet” messages to receive. I always tried to “check them out” as someone I barely knew, but whom I felt a strong draw to, (or someone I loved very deeply) was alway about to die. Something about that decade, the decade my father was dying in, the decade in which a cherished “surrogate” mother died. A woman so dear who was buried with a letter of mine which she had carried through the last year of her life. I was only in my twenties.
Twenty years ago I was probably clairvoyant. And I used to awaken every day with a song in my head. And when that would happen, I would seek out that song, harder then without internet, but not so hard because of my huge music library and because I used TOWER RECORDS as my back-up plan.
I am finding songs coming to me often again, the same songs which used to come to me twenty years ago. And I am listening. I am not sharing the details too often here, although the urge to do so is very strong.
Today the song was a song called, “Waiting for Life to Begin” from a Broadway musical called “Once On This Island.”
I can’t imagine that is what I would be doing, but when I was teaching, I used to tell my students “your bodies know far more than your brains. And they certainly know more than my brain. So your job is to listen to your body.” So here it is again. I didn’t think I was waiting for life to begin... but on a metta level, the song came up... and it’s telling me something... and I hear it! Big time.
But truth be told, I don’t need to affirm this with anyone, it’s not nor has it ever been my style to “wait” for life to begin. When I was twenty years-old, I lived in Florence, Italy. It was a deeply transformative life experience. I fell in love with so many parts of living and I began to grow myself in ways which germinated some of my deepest parts. Florence is where I felt my soul begin to soar and it was the place where I felt true alignment with myself as my soul met with souls which had walked the same streets hundreds of years earlier. I found myself walking each day closer and closer towards knowing a home inside of me that was fully at peace alone in Italy but part of everything. At the tender age of twenty. So I wasn’t waiting for life to begin. I was seeking, listening, and drinking up every day life and living while holding and honoring the breadth and scope of its exquisite history in every step I took.
Still, there is something there of merit in this song. And eventually, I will know how to speak about it. Right now, I am still too close to how much I have been inside of and that, I think is the point. I have been far too inside. And not letting too many people in.
Writing allows an audience, if there is one, but it is so private. It is like speaking without making eye contact. Still remaining inside. Like going to a concert and the singer sings with his or her eyes closed. I find that devastating. I would rather listen to his or her CD. If the person cannot make contact, then I would prefer not to see him or her in person. But I understand the closed eyes. I know that place very well.
The other day, when I was with my Iyengar teacher, having not been on the mat for over five months, I noticed that I made little eye contact. When I did, the contact was there, but there was much time when I had to close my eyes in order to first FIND MYSELF. In order to find myself first. To find a softer breath, even. It makes me cry to write it now. That I needed that. I know I should give myself a break. First time out. Swelling. Injury. Heartache. Deep deep heartache. But I want so much more for myself. So much more. Fierce presence. Fierce fierce presence. (What was that I wrote a few days ago about softening into the places outside of my comfort zone? Hmmmm...)
I was grateful for the moments when I heard myself in my full aliveness. Fully present. Bright-eyed. Laughing at myself. Remnants of a spirit I knew well whether I can move or not. Mazal Tov!
But the essence of the song, “Waiting for Life to Begin” is a cry out to god. When I was in my twenties, I used to play it over and over in my brand new car which was fashioned with Bose speakers and I would often get criticized for playing it. At the time, it was a point of contention in my relationship. The playing of the song AND the new car. Really, it was the new car (but that’s for another blog). I was constantly told the woman in the song was “screaming.” My position was that she was crying out in prayer to god. Twenty years later, I still stand by that assertion. I know she is asking god to hear her prayer. And don’t you think when you ask god to hear your prayer, you’d ask in the most important way you can (and if singing, perhaps “belt it out”)? I love the song. And by the way, if you are going to take a listen, get the Broadway version, NOT the London version. Just a suggestion. The woman who played the lead on Broadway (a woman named LaChanze) ended up playing Celie for Oprah in “The Color Purple” on Broadway (with a ten year span in between).
I know it’s no mistake that this song came to me today. My spirit has been crying out to god in a deep way and I am crying out to remember to listen in an even deeper way. So there it is. It may not be time for me to press up like I used to with little effort and sweet joy and ease, but it may be time for me to begin standing for longer than five minutes.
Messages still come strongly to me. It isn’t important for me to share what they are. But it is important for me to listen to my body. Listen to my intuition. Stay on track. Listen to the footsteps like I did when I was was twenty living in my beloved Florence. And I could hear the hush of Michelangelo’s aching feet walking on the same cobblestone path that kept leading me home.
There is a reason why listening gets you further than anything else. It’s because, when you do it well, it feels just like love.
Waiting... only in love.