October 5, 2010

Singing for the song’s sake

Posted in Creative Fire, Thoughts and Reflections at 8:28 pm by

I’ve been working on a new song for Bast, which involves a lengthy process of singing the tune over and over and over while trying to come up with the words. Last night, as I was getting changed at the gym, one of the other women in the locker room commented to me, “You must be having a good day.” I gave her a blank look, and she added, “You’re singing.”

Embarrassed, I apologized — I had thought I was singing inaudibly under my breath — but she shook her head. “No,” she said, “it’s good to see somebody being happy. My mother always used to say that you couldn’t be unhappy if you were singing.”

And maybe that’s not strictly true — it’s possible to work any mood, even negative ones, deeper and more intense by singing the appropriate songs — but in a way it is. When the music comes up spontaneously, when the singing is for the song’s sake, I think there must inevitably be joy in it, the heart lifting with the breath, taking flight. I often find that the songs are a bellweather for my mental state; when they arise, I know that I’m on the right track. And I find that singing them lightens my spirit, dispersing sadness and oppression. No wonder then that the Gods love music so very much.

O Netjer, may You be pleased with my offering: the music of praise and the heart that leaps up in delight and love.

February 12, 2009

Out of the tiger dawn

Posted in Creative Fire, Netjeru, The Wild Sky, Thoughts and Reflections at 10:37 am by

A wild morning — high wind; heavy clouds parting to show glimpses of the perfect clarity of the sky beyond; a delicate veil of mist across the hilltops lit up shimmering by the rising amber flame of the sun; and something in the quality of the light catching in last fall’s leaves, on the tawny grass and the bare-branched trees, so that the world took on an orange cast beneath the dark gray, sculptured sky. A tigerish morning, grrr.

The last few days have felt magical, numinous. I don’t know why. The season? The fact that I’m gearing up to work seriously on my Sau studies again? Hormones from my period? For whatever reason, everything seems possible — and then I fall back into one or more of my sludgy bad habits, until I just want to bite myself for stupidity. Zep Tepi — put down the bad, pick up the good, and start again. So here we go.

One of today’s festivals is the Procession of Nesert, flame goddess, Eye of Ra.It brings me back to the idea of fire, tigers, burning. Good old William Blake. A tiger day, or possibly a lynx day — lynx-fierce, lynx-secretive. Way back before I had really discovered Bast or begun studying Kemet, my personal pantheon included a goddess Who I knew only as the Lady of the Secret Inner Flame. I think now that She was, in fact, Bast. And Bast, of late, has been giving me tiny reminders: Take time for yourself. Be more secret. Out of the hidden, out of the inward, out of the mysterious unseen, the soul is restored to life and creativity arises, like the Bennu bird, singing.

Blue sky now, faint sunlight, and the wind a crazed tea-kettle shrieking past my window. There’s a place I want to go to at lunchtime — the top of the wooded slope looking out over the lake, a place of water and trees and stone and wind and sky, as close as I can get to hilltop or mountaintop on a half-hour walk. The path there has been closed for some kind of construction for months; I’ll have to see if it’s open today, or at least accessible. And then — who knows?