Dear Viriditas Community,
It’s May, and this month I want to encourage all of us to celebrate! Find lots of ways to celebrate the small things and the big things. Celebrate something every day this month.
David and I began the month with our May, Tap Into Transformation, which was a glorious Cinco de Mayo Celebration! We had green, red and white balloons, a piñata full of candy and toys, margaritas and a delicious meal catered by our local Mexican restaurant, Wapos.
I wish you could have seen the sixteen of us perform the Mexican Hat tap-dance that David created for us especially! The memory of the stomping, the hopping, the scuffs, and the occasional shouts of “Aye, Aye, Aye!” still brings a smile to my face. One of our participants wore a red chili pepper necklace; another wore my golden tap shoes. The energy was so uplifting. ¡Viva! Here is a photo of some of the group at the end of the evening.
During the second half of the evening we divided into pairs and each group was asked to write on an index card a description of a brand new celebration of their creation. We asked each group to answer nine questions to help them create their new celebration. I encourage you to take a few minutes to answer these questions for yourself. Don’t hold back! The sky is the limit. Just write down whatever pops into your heart and head first without censoring yourself.
1. What are you celebrating?
2. Who is there to celebrate with you?
3. What kind of food are you serving?
4. Where are you having your celebration?
5. What decorations do you have?
6. Is there any dancing? What kind?
7. Is there any music? What kind?
8. What is the attire?
9. What else is part of your celebration?
The room was buzzing as people passionately envisioned their celebrations. At the end of the evening we put the index cards into the Mexican sombrero and picked one. The ideas on the chosen card are going to be incorporated into June’s Tap Into Transformation. We will be celebrating “Freedom & Happiness” and the food will include home made ice cream! People are going to wear white, and there are other exciting elements to the Celebration. To find out what they are you are going to have to wait for our Tap Into Transformation flyer which we will send out at the end of May. Bollywood, here we come! For now reserve the date. Our next Tap Into Transformation will be on Friday, June 6th. And yes, the ideas on the other cards will be coming in the future!!!
This month David and I are also celebrating the completion of the research phase of the Africa Project. It is incredible, we have actually explored the music of each and every African country! So often in the past two years I have wanted to hop onto an airplane and go to Africa. I long to dance with the drumming of the djembes in West Africa or to sing with the Soveto Gospel Choir in South Africa. The power of African Music pulses through me now, and I yearn to connect with African musicians. Gary Grundei, David and I are launching the second phase of the project. I will keep you posted as to how this connection with African musicians will actually come about!
I hope you enjoyed the African music video from last month. The drummers and dancers were from Senegal. And now for this month’s musical treasure! Get yourself your favorite drink and click here. Sit back and CELEBRATE the passionate message of this vibrant music! This month, I am going to celebrate with the winner (the first person who emails me the name of the country where these musicians and dancers are from) by sending them a special gift!
Finally on the African Music front, Knob Mentality, our marimba band will be performing on June 1st . We will be part of a huge marimba festival at Shine. Knob Mentality will be playing at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $5 per person/$10 per family at the door and allow you access all day long. The first band goes on at 11:00 am and Kutandara is the final band and will go on at 5:00 pm.
Another completion I am celebrating is finishing the course Transformed by the Light in the Yogic Mystery School created by Russill and Asha Paul. I feel like I have an internal i-pod of mantras on shuffle that I am chanting 24/7. I rejoice to be part of this vibrant and committed spiritual community. I feel much more peaceful and joyous in my day to day life and am especially grateful for the love and commitment of Asha and Russill. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. If you are interested in learning more about their work click here.
To conclude I would like to celebrate with you the fact that I have begun a musical composition based on St. Hildegard’s, Kyrie. A few weeks ago I went to the Viriditas Studio, locked the door, sat at my piano, and invoked Mary’s presence by playing Gounod’s Ave Maria. Although I was feeling shaky I turned on my phone’s record button and started playing what came through. What happened during the following 4 minutes and 46 seconds was at times both exhilarating as well as, I’ll admit, uncomfortable.
I have often heard from other composers (including St. Hildegard) that their music is not “their” music. I have listened to the recording I made that day many times in the past few weeks and I’m beginning to transcribe what I was given. I am receiving all sorts of insights as to what wants to be expressed through the music. I realize that the initial recording is like the canvas of a painting, which will have many layers. Stay tuned as this amazing adventure continues. Talk about going out on a limb. Yikes! For now, I will leave you with some of the initial lyrics:
I am here, I am.
Can you sense my hands?
I hold your face,
Feel all this warmth.
I feel your spark
Inside our hearts…
So yeah, celebrate during this month of May… every day… in whatever way brings a smile to your face!