"You never know how much you need music until you don't have it "
–DamienEchols, "Life After Death".
Happy New Year! Damien Echols, Lori Davis, Raven Digitalis and Seane Corn have been vindicated and Chucho Valdez has saved my sanity! Happy Happy New Year! There was a new years eve special on NPR earlier that played a long piece of music by Chucho Valdez. Listening to it was a lovely lovely experience that filled me with a sense-enlivening eurythmic energy. It was quite therapeutic! He composed this piece when he was 80 years old and calls this work his “masterpiece”. He says that this work is a summation of all of his experiences in music. There are parts of Santeria rituals in this composition which is entitled “La Creacion” (Creation). It is Chucho Valdes and the Yoruba Orchestra. I am assuming that it can be easily found online, but I heard it on the NPR show 'Toast Of The Nation'.
I must admit that I was feeling uncharacteristically frustrated before this piece of music came on. Why? An accumulation of things regarding this environment, but particularly this: I recently found out that a writing that I sent out like a month ago was 'Pinocheted', it was disappeared. In the piece I mostly wrote about therapeutic ritual and spoke much about Lori Davis and Damien Echols new book Ritual: An Essential Grimoire. I begin the 9 page handwritten writing with a quote from the book Esoteric Empathy by Raven Digitalis. I also included some citations from Seane Corn's book Revolution Of The Soul: Awaken To Love Through Raw Truth, Radical Healing , And Conscious Action.
In the envelope with the writing I included a picture of Damien from when he was giving an opening blessing and introduction at one of my solo art exhibits in New York.
I figured just that would cause them to hold the envelope and its contents for a while for 'extra scrutiny'. I am quite surprised though that they just straight up disappeared the writing. They have not done this type of thing in some years!
The brilliant writers and profound spiritual teachers Seane Corn, Raven Digitalis, Lori Davis and Damien Echols should absolutely love this though. They should see this as a delightful holiday gift and wonderfully inspiring career achievement and cosmic acknowledgement that they are definitely on the right and righteous path of carrying on the teaching traditions of the Perennial Philosophy, Ancient Wisdom Schools and the Teachings Of The Ages – that DIRECTLY challenges authoritarian oppression and proto-fascist inclinations towards Huxleyian-Kafkaesque-Orwellian suppression in all forms. They have collectively achieved the distinguished honor, grand commendation and prestigious distinction of having their work confiscated, sequestered, investigated and (obviously) condemned as so very dangerous that it must be immediately eradicated and destroyed by the fascist-minded authoritarian Morality Police. Wonderful!
Of course, my response to this will be to now put out a bunch of writings with all kinds of references and citations from the works of all four of these brilliant writers. I actually get along fine with the Head Warden and Death Row Major – who I have known for like 15 or 20 years – and the other high ranking staff. Although they obviously do not agree with many positions I take and issues that I advocate for, they are not going to engage in this type of ridiculous, petty and completely pointless behavior. No telling who was responsible for this, but thank you! My frustration was short-lived – eradicated by the brilliance of Chucho Valdez's masterpiece La Creation, which swept me into the new year with a reinvigorated spirit and renewed sense of determination.
Check it out and see if you can feel that same vibe. The energy of this composition is very similar to the energy that I was working with when I created my 40×60 inch painting entitled 'Elegba/ Exu/ Eshu Elegbara/ Saint Peter/ In Honor Of Dr. John (Mac Rebennack)/ Master Of The Crossroads / Lord Of Communications / Guardian Of The Gates/ Jazz Love/ Blues Soul / 121 Paths' .
It is just past midnight and with that sense of transformational creative energy at the forefront of my mind, I will usher in the new year by leaving you with a very appropriate offering from the ever-insightful Seane Corn:
“Dharma is living life on purpose, whether that purpose is born from pain or arises out of a special talent you wish to share with others...Dharma is the soul's work, the truest expression of who you are. It emerges from the depth of your wisdom body ,your heart-mind; it is the universe guiding you to your purpose and your willingness to surrender to its call. To see the soul in another and to shine your light in the world for the benefit of all beings– that is what you're here in this body to do. Remember that the soul wants experience because it's through experience, through connection, that consciousness can evolve.”