You were born into a strange world,
Like a candle, you were meant to share the fire.
I don’t know where we come from, and I don’t know where we go.
But my arms were made to hold you, so I will never let you go.
Cuz you were born to change this life.
You were born to chase the light.
You were born…
On Saturday we went to the winter edition of the Cape Town Folk and Acoustic Music Festival. It was a magic evening; I felt so privileged to experience the music and the passion of the musicians themselves. It was clear that this was not just a performance. Each one sang and played with their whole heart and mind, with obvious delight in their craft.
I often find myself moved by art and music. A couple of years ago I had the privilege of viewing the art of Rembrandt at the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam. Tears flowed as I stood in front of The Jewish Bride. I was overwhelmed at the thought that Rembrandt himself had worked on the painting in front of me, that each brushstroke and carefully chosen colour had flowed from his imagination onto the canvas. I know as a writer that whatever you put onto the page: a word, a picture or a series of notes, is in some sense a piece of yourself, that you risk vulnerability every time you open your heart and give expression to what you find inside.
Any creative act is an invitation to some kind of relationship, even if it is just with yourself. As I write I am challenged to explore more deeply my own experiences and responses to them. In sharing that, I am inviting you to explore along with me. When I watch a musician play, I feel that in some way they are welcoming me into their life, to see the world through their eyes. Sometimes this changes me, changes the way I see the world.
A few months ago I listened to this podcast, an interview with Craig Minowa, the lead singer of Cloud Cult. In it he speaks of the way the audience connects with them as they play. In sharing himself with people through his performances, he creates a space in which people feel that their own struggles and joys can be embraced and acknowledged. It’s well worth taking the time to listen. (You can find a video of Cloud Cult, performing the song I have quoted above, here.)
I love the idea that we are like candles, so here’s to a week of looking for opportunities to ‘share the fire’.