chaos and the becoming of sound


when the seed is planted, it grows unaware of what it will become. all it knows is becoming.


i had the opportunity and honor to watch my son and his high school jazz band perform at the prestigious essentially ellington competition in new york city this weekend.  it was a coming together of vibrant young artists and musicians, of progressions and harmony, of diligence and celebration.


as i listened to each judge share a treasure of wisdom, with wynton marcalis as its anchor (buddha flow!), i was struck by the similarity of what we do and how we view life — this careful balance of holding on and letting go.  i was struck by the role parents and teachers play in the capacity of our children and i was profoundly overjoyed to know that, in being in the attendance of this audience, my son ‘got’ exactly what i wanted him so desperately to ‘have.’


one by one, each judge spoke of the higher qualities of being human and being creative – of the honor and privilege that we each carry – and how, with concentration and acceptance, we come together in the sweetest, most unexpected ways!


no note is wrong as we stumble into our truth!


there is this sense of possibility that we come into as we come together tripping – not as individuals, but as notes and instruments that balance and carry our one sound. it takes attention and ‘attunement’ to balance the power of a drum with the pluck of a bass — each has to step into the other, then recede and allow the other to lead … each sound is ushered through stillness, and it becomes a dance of sorts.


it made me think of this dance between masculine and feminine – the dance of lila – and how each becomes the counterweight of our collective flow – listening and watching and grounding and accepting and trusting and loving and celebrating .


there is a sense of freedom in the dance when we allow the music to spontaneously erupt from the chaos.


in this way, chaos becomes the charnal ground of music – a space of birth and death – mother to the vibration of our being – gaia and uranus.  and, although we can’t impose our will on chaos anymore than an acorn can impose its will on becoming anything other than an oak tree, we can rejoice in the infinite nature of becoming.


and, in the becoming we can open to possibility.  this is what the feminine provides.  the masculine provides the means – the thoughts and thrust to bring it to fruition. the masculine is the instrument of sound.  but the feminine is the space of all arising creation – musing, accommodating, intuitive – it is the spontaneity of passion.


when masculine and feminine are in tune, all the elements come together in infinite possibilities of unity.


which brings me back to the words of those great teachers and musicians.  we have a responsibility to the world –  to temper the elements of our sound in order to find our voice – to rise to meet our song – to free ourselves from the story that is keeping us dissonant – to “look into the eyes of another being and see another looking back at you … packaged differently” (ram dass).


i can’t recall where their words ended and mine began, but they all seem to be ours now and that feels like harmony.

~ much gratitude to the jazz academy for the essentially ellington program that brings voice and harmony through our hearts and to humanity and to wynton marsalis for his grounding leadership and positive vibration.

the chaos of masculine and feminine

logic without intuition is limited
reason without nurturing breeds apathy
action without healing is coping
firm without the gentle is clinging
survival without expression is fearful
loyalty without wisdom is blind
adventure without patience is reckless
the rational absent of emotion blocks expression
strength without flexibility causes rigidity

the masculine without the feminine is just coping – limited, clinging, fearful, blind, reckless, apathetic and rigid.  the transmutation of these qualities are awakened by the feminine.  the positive, useful and purposeful masculine energy is dependent on the feminine.

however, if we were to reverse the process, we see something quite different:

intuition without logic is faith
nurturing without reason is unconditional love
healing without action is acceptance
gentility without firmness is freedom
expressiveness in the absence of survival is presence
wisdom in the absence of loyalty is trust
patience in the absence of adventure is contentment
emotion in the absence of the rational is spontaneous
flexibility in the absence of strength is robust

in the absence of the masculine, the feminine is dynamic, ever-faithful and offers unconditional love, acceptance, liberty and presence. the qualities carried and awakened by the feminine are infinite states that exist in the absence of the masculine … they are not dependent.

but, for the feminine to create it must meet with the masculine.  it’s just how it is.

if we were in balance, what would that look like?
… feel like?
who can we be?
who are we really?


The first time, ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and the stars
Were the gifts you gave
To the dark, and the endless skies
to all the mothers and sisters that help to create this world … thank you for all the gifts you give – to the dark and endless skies.

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