This past Sunday I was fortunate enough to go to the Christmas with friends songversation in Boston with India Arie. India does not call it a concert or a performance, it’s simply a songversation. She recently released a Christmas album and is doing a Christmas tour. When I first got to the show I was excited and nervous. With the combination of the holiday season, PMS and my mother’s genes I was feeling very emotional! When India came onto the stage, she started with her prayer and sang I Am Light, the lyrics were so healing. It was like therapy. Reassurance. I am not the things I have done or my past mistakes. She spoke to my heart, telling me to let the past be the past. It does not define me or who I am. I could feel the tears rolling down my cheeks. It was like I had been holding my breath and finally I could release it all. Let out the old carbon dioxide and take in fresh air!
The room, filled with so many different people. Every shade and hue from a milky white to a sweet caramel and a deep dark rich chocolate. All gathered in one room. One purpose. To listen to India’s voice, her message, her WORDS! As she sang the classic “Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music to The Christmas Song while weaving in many of her hits from over the years. I thought to myself, she could sing a death metal song right now and make it sound like rainbows and unicorns to my ears. It was like I could see the music notes dancing throughout the theater. As I looked around to see the multitude of different people, every color of skin, every shape and size, bald headed, curly hair, short, tall… there was at least one of everyone in the room… It was pure beauty. It was like the Benetton ads from the 90’s. Every single person smiling, crying, singing, healing! It was an overwhelming feeling of PURE LOVE! With the hate, the fear, the violence going on in the world these days it felt amazing to be a part of this moment. To be in that room full of love for one night was so healing!!! Even more comforting was to know that I could share that moment with my son.
At 17, my “Pooky Bear” ( a name I made up to embarrass him but it never works because he’s too confident) doesn’t like to hang with Mama bear too often. Somehow over the years of listening and singing (not so great) to India’s music, he too has become a fan. As a mother, it was my joy and blessing to have the memory of that night with my son. The show was amazing! India was and is amazing! I know, I know, she is a woman like me, but she can sing much better so I gotta give her props for that. It was a great night.
When we had first arrived and waited for the show to start, we looked around and discussed the fact that there seemed to be such a strange crowd of people and how some didn’t seem to fit in. We even joked about the fact that the older white lady who had come by herself and was sitting next to us would be me in about 25 years. However, by the end of the night it all made sense. This group of fans may look like they don’t fit, but over all they had much more in common that one would think. To limit this crowd, as being brought here because they are India fans barely touches the surface. To be present that night and feel the peace and unity as the audience sang along to One. To realize everyone in this room had so much more in common. On the outside we were all so different, but together we all shared a common spirit of humanity, love and peace. In that moment, in that theater, it was felt. For that one night we forgot about all the fear, the pain, the hate and violence going on outside.
As we drove home that night my son and I were talking about the show. I wish I could describe that overwhelming feeling of love. It felt as if my heart was pouring over with love. As if I could no longer contain it. India has a song called Soulbird Rise and refers to her fans as “soulbirds”. The best way I can sum up the night is with this poem I wrote.
Let me be your soul bird
Together we will fly among the clouds
Let me be your soul bird
We will rise above the crowds
To speak our truth
Our voices heard
Our message strong and loud
One love that grows
One peace to show
One step to take
Cause that’s our common ground
Let me be your soulbird
While at the show India mentioned that she had recently written several essays and encouraged the audience to read them and comment. I found it very interesting that she talked a lot about the power of words and how we use them. I have started reading her essays and encourage you all to check out her page. (Soulbird.com) I’m not saying this just because I am a fan of her music, but I am a fan of her message and her words.
It’s funny that this was a Christmas show, yet reading over my blog, there is no feeling of Christmas. I don’t talk about sleigh bells or presents or Santa anywhere in here! For me, no matter what holiday you celebrate, it’s about being together. It’s about sharing memories, laughter, food, friends, family and love. The show that night, for me, was about creating memories with my son. Everyone gets so wrapped up in the spending money, buying gifts, making sure everything is a certain way. Maybe that is what the show was supposed to do. Remind everyone to take a break from the stress, the chaos in this world and just create a positive memory. A feeling of love.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas or whatever you may celebrate! Peace on earth!