India Arie’s Christmas with Friends Show in Boston

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

Towards Unity

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!

 

 

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Using My Words

So recently I started this blog, not really knowing where I was going with it.  Everyone would ask, what are you going to blog about? What is your theme?  I had no idea.  So one night I sat down and just started writing my introduction.  It seems that each time I go to post I just kind of wing it!
I keep thinking about the questions though. What am I writing about? I don’t want to blab about nonsense.  I want to make a difference with my words.  I want to use my voice.  I want to create things.  I want to empower people.  To spread love.  That is my mission.  There is not enough, nor can there ever be enough, love in this world.
Tonight I am going to see India Arie with my son.  If you don’t know who she is or know her music, check out her website http://www.soulbird.com.  She may not be your style of music or your favorite, but she is one of mine.  I have been thinking a lot lately about why I really admire her as a performer.  I have been thinking about her music and why I love it so much.  It’s because she creates a feeling!  When I listen to her music I feel good!  I feel the release of endorphins, whether it makes me smile, cry, laugh or just sing loudly (and badly).  If I’m having a bad day I just close my eyes and listen to Purify Me and it calms me.  If I’m feeling not so great about my appearance I can listen to I am Not My Hair and realize that my real beauty comes from my soul.  If my son is being a typical teenager the lyrics in Beautiful Surprise remind of what a blessing he is to my life.  When I  need to escape this craziness, I close my eyes and go to Beautiful.  As India transports me to a peaceful place in my mind.  Days I am discouraged, she reminds me of the Strength Courage and Wisdom we all posess inside.
Thinking about her music and the mood it creates, has made me realize that is what I would like to do with my writing.  When I listen to her music I feel love and peace.
I want to use my words to build people up. To remind you that just because you are having a bad day, doesn’t mean it is the end of the world.  There is always tomorrow.  To remind people that just because you have a moment of weakness does not mean that you are not a strong person.  Having a bad hair day doesn’t define the beauty that is within you.  Don’t look in the mirror and let it define your value!
Words can be so powerful.  Remember the old saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?” That is definitely not true.  People get stuck in verbally abusive relationships all the time and the only thing bringing them down is the power of words.  Words can be used to tear down or build up.  So remember to use your words carefully when, writing, commenting or speaking.  I choose to use my words to build.
So what is my theme or mission with this blog? It’s using my words to create love and peace.  To remind not only myself, but all of you reading this blog, that you are amazing!  You are beautiful, strong, people with a purpose.  As India says in her song dedicated to Stevie Wonder, you are Wonderful!

*please note the italicized words are song titles of just a few of India’s songs.