Being in the music industry for decades and a musician since the age of 8 (if you could call strained lips spewing air into a trumpet for the first time ‘music’), there’s a whole lot of sound, image, feel and emotion that has crossed these eyes and ears. Having the depth and understanding of history often lends a whole dimension of pondering and study as to how music has reflected, even altered, daily living. Add the wordsmith to the mix, and now you have the recipe for intense examination or a mental meltdown.
I’ll try not to be so intense, and the only meltdown necessary is the incessant round of snow I’d love to see washed clean and forever banished from my landscape. *Sigh*,
I chose the title for this treatise purposefully (haha, you say who know me, when do I just toss up something with absolutely no meaning at all? – and you’d be spot on!), It came from a religious program from the 60s and 70s that featured this one little flame burning in a darkened room, and if memory serves, there was in the foreground a dimly visible Bible. This moment of memory has had a lifetime of opportunity to challenge spiritual understanding, dive deep into the study of scripture and religions, and over-analyze how my effect on society and vice-versa is making the kind of difference and legacy which is truthful, positive and loving.
These days seem very dark indeed. If I were to relate it to dark times in my own past it would be close to the 60s, when the world seemed poise to ‘press the button’ and annihilate itself in nuclear obliteration. It was the fear in the back of our minds, in the front of our televisions and newspapers; the out-growth of our parents’ generation of making the Bomb that stopped WWII in its tracks to force a surrender against a marauding enemy without another shot to fire. It became the scare tactic to get people to fear, to do what was necessary to keep from that severe a response again, to avoid nuclear proliferation, if possible, at all cost. We learned that there was a cost – and it was indeed proliferation, stockpiles of pointed missiles ready to go when the treat demanded response. And how close – too close – we came to responses.
In my town (Bristol RI) there is a Nike site – not the sneakers, the bunker which was capable of exposing one or more of those missiles – under the ground of the very site of King Phillip, tribal leader of the Wampanoags of the 1600s. King Phillip’s War was an ugly event in its day, bordering on savage some say. Seems the land was never quite at rest from having to deal with acts of protective maneuver or hostile revenge.
So I look at today: the numbers of wars being waged, the threat of genocide in the air again. Acronyms pop up everywhere on the groups of treachery…and mirrors reflect back at their foes who seem to have agendas misunderstood at best and collusion with the enemy rampant. There is no trust out there in what leads; rare is it possible to find any who are doing the job of leading for the people’s benefit: freedom, peace, shared abundance. Agendas are rife with greed, avarice and sleight-of-hand.
In Biblical times the Prophets who were attempting to salvage pending or existing ruin were often challenged to find Mercy in the midst of Holy Wrath. It is a very complicated scene, and somber: God ready to destroy, Prophet knowing the nature of the Creator to create far more than obliterate, asks with reverent trepidation how He would save a people and forgive grievous acts…right down to the few numbers of faithful found there. Time after time God reveals His hand – the one still ready to reverse the dire and reclaim the lot.
Looking and hearing the world divided and in the midst of a ‘human scour’, moments arise frequently where I ask ‘how many are going to be spared? Is this reversible? Is the tragedy of the weak doomed to extinction? Is the maniacal of the strong too powerful to oppose? Are we closing the book on mankind’s chapter with a horrible ending?’
Again, insert candle.
Having dealt with folks from all over this planet, from so many mental, emotional and political persuasions, the best of times occur when we find common ground. I’m fortunate to have had many moments throughout life discovering the things that make us human, approachable, real and most of all: connected. People have a choice to be a light – a candle – possessing a flame that brightens their spaces and corners for others to discover. The more one candle connects with another candle, the warmer and brighter the flame.
Simple conversations with an Atheist who was on his way back to Victoria, Australia on a flight I was taking got the two of us in eight hours to discover so much about each other and some of the people who effected our lives that he quipped, ‘Sorry you didn’t make this flight one month earlier, there is an Aboriginal man who would have loved to spend time with you, get to know you and open his doors to his world – the history and culture of his people’. We let no topical holds barred: religion, history, culture, the works. I love Atheists who are open books; these are the people who take the time to analyze life’s many angles and develop their minds – not with scorn, but with true reason. Atheist friends of mine connect that way.
A three-hour limo ride from Detroit to Lansing, MI was ahead on this one job undertaken, and my limo driver was this amazing Iraqi gentleman who had been living in Michigan for a bit of time. It didn’t take long before we were deep in conversation about our faiths, families, work life and view of the world. I have never had a more enjoyable time with anyone in a car before or since. He being Muslim and I having Judeo-Christian roots got to the core of our lives and how we viewed the world, finding so many similarities that before we parted company, we shook hands and bowed toward each other with a blessing left for one another.
Candles are best when they come together from different boxes. The good fortune to have ‘glowed’ in the radiance of living human candles from all corners of this planet, rich and famous to elders over a century old to youngsters who have wowed me with their courage and insights, have been moments captured in memory that satisfies better than the best cooked meal anyone could have prepared. And I’m a foodie!
Candles have a song, an anthem. The 60s/70s gal who was part troubador, part revolutionary, part sweetness by the name of Melanie is enjoying resurging respect for a tune which she penned to become Lay Down (Candles In The Rain). I have written many of my fellow Libertarians, religious and cultural free thinkers and hippies about the positive effect this song is having all over again. It continues to liberate the soul, mind and spirit from complacent conformity and ignites the Candle within to be one with self and others.
One of the scariest moments of history – as young men were gunned down on the campus of an Ohio state college protesting war and its ravages – helped to fuel this anthem. Making this even more relevant – the Edwin Hawkins Choir were the backdrop to this melody; the Hawkins Gospel dynasty is one which is almost unrivaled for its integrity to the music, lyrics and causes of people. Candles, all – at Woodstock, at their duty to mankind, brightly blazing.
Out of all darkness, light is inevitable. Your candle is that light, mine is backing yours. When yours extinguishes, mine is here to re-ignite you, as yours is for me in my tired and worn moments.
It is time to unite all Candles. The darkness flees.
-Bill / Deej
One amazement, how spiritual dimensions intertwine…an inter-dimensional perspective.