Seems like these days, in my life, there’s been a lot going on… and nothing going on… simultaneously. Oh, excuse me, do I sound crazy? Ha! You should see the stuff that are really going thru my mind and body right now…pure insanity… and yet there’s always this quiet presence in the background peacefully watching it all (I call it my consciousness… or simply “the observer”).
Still, times like this require some self-soothing, and I’ve been doing that by listening to my collection of 100 Greatest Classical Masterpieces of All Time. Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Schubert, Vivaldi, among many others, are all included. They truly do a superb job at soothing my soul. They also really, really make me miss my piano. You see, I played piano growing up, for about 7 years, and though I wish I could say I’ve played all the aforementioned names, I mostly remember playing some Beethoven, Mozart and Bach, maybe some Schubert. I stopped playing when I was 13 years old, which I really regret now. But some day, when I can both afford a piano and fit it into my space, I’ll go back to playing it seriously again, because listening to music can soothe me, but playing it totally transports me.
Something else I do with the purpose of self-soothing is read some of my favorite poems. Isn’t art something? Whether is poetry, music, a sculpture or painting, and for me sometimes even fashion, but there’s something about creative people turning whatever thoughts and emotions, whatever state of being they are in, into a beautiful and timeless piece of art that really connects with me. I would even say some of these pieces open me up and allow my own thoughts and emotions, my own state of being to flow and transform. What a powerful thing art can do!
So here I leave you with two pieces that have been particularly alleviating for me the past couple of days: first, the song Nocturne No. 2 by Chopin, and then the poem Still I Rise by Maya Angelou . Both I’ve been listening to and reading , respectively, over and over again in the past 36 hours. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Now, what do you do to sooth your soul?
Still I Rise
by Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.