07/8/19 / by Jesse Griffith

Day 68

To feel the extremities of existence, the blood in the furthest reaches of the body connected to the air particles around us. Layer upon layer, to peel back is often difficult at first until the pain morphs into understanding then calmness and ultimately revelatory. To observe one's own actions and reactions from a different vantage point is to mitigate suffering before the depths open and sweep you in, taking along everything with it, no survivors in that shipwreck. There was a moment today inside the main chamber of the obscura where the swirling sounds had created a mass, a weight that was tangible. It took concentration and then evaporation. Invisible connectivity to the plants and grasses and everything that transpired to make the moment happen. This thought has been persisting and it is a well of deepening inspiration to lead a life of intent, openness and appreciation.

There are lessons in the strange and in the mundane. The connective threads that weave through time, span oceans and transcend all divisions continues to fascinate, inspire and lead me to greater sources. The same sources I seek when discovering an artist, excite me tenfold to seek out their sources and so forth. Musical connect the dots, cross referencing, foot noting and always borrowing, incorporating the language to inform and inspire my own. I’ve been immersed in a self-directed study of music and (unbeknownst to me) an anthropological look at who is playing it, under what circumstances, where on the planet and exploring the connective thread that ties it – and ultimately us, all together. Although the guitar is my medium, all sound and emotion becomes available for source material to do anything with.

To go further still is where I am after, learn from the symphony of the natural world, the ultimate wellspring. The depth of body of material we have access to is astounding and we are so privileged to live in this era of access to knowledge and sharing. I remember first hearing the music of Ali Farka Toure, it being as powerful as first discovering the likes of Hendrix, Neil Young, Miles Davis, Coltrane etc... to an impressionable anti-social ten or eleven year old. I was transported to rhythms so far away, melodies so distant but familiar, like a star filled sky unburdened by light. Not meant for nomenclature, so melody organizes and wraps up its gifts to be passed down and along. I could hardly grasp to understand. But I keep seeking. Music carries great power, to transcend the depths of wartime with a ceasefire (Burning Spear in Africa) or to bring back a glimpse of life to a non-functioning Parkinson’s patient. It is the common denominator. A hollowed bone with holes in it was found to be at least 60,000 years old, the sounds the ocean sing as birds call out for mates. Music is the language of the world. It tells our story. There is no division, only unity as a species. This is my clearest message.

I’ve said this before and I will reiterate: Music erodes prejudice and devours hatred, a celebration, a dance for all and of all ages, creeds and kinds. Music fills one’s emptiness with joy, celebrates the gift of life, company, nourishes the soul and restores the natural rhythm of an unbalanced body or mind functions to be aligned through fundamental frequency that is distinct from verbal communication, essential to humanity.