6.12.12

Thoughts on constantly achieving this mind-body practice / "More than being proud to be seen in novelty"



{liberatormagazine.com exclusive feature}

In "Literacy: Reading the Word & the World", Paulo Freire recalls an adult literacy workbook in Sao Tome with pictures in it. Next to a picture of a group of young people swimming it is written, "It is by swimming that one learns to swim." Next to a picture of youths working it is written, "It is by working that one learns to work." And at the bottom of the page it is written, "By practicing we learn to practice better." A profound truth on the importance of mind-body practice for the simple sake of practicing living better.

But there's just something about the way Bird put it -- this fusion of jazz and mdw ntr -- that is so sweet:

Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.”
-Charlie Parker

And perhaps this is what we feel when we get tired of taking pictures of moments. If, however, we choose for our processes of literacy to never end, to always tell our stories humbly, then all of our texts and works (written words, spoken words, photos, videos, songs, performances) aren't just pictures of individual moments, but also snapshots of a collective eternity full of texts and works (stories) that guide us. We sort of learn that our stories are something valuable when we learn that others have preserved their stories, but we only know why stories are preserved when we come to know why our stories are worth preserving. Connection is necessary to that process. And faith is the result of such connection. Likewise, we know good listening because we've witnessed it and can testify to its power. The more we practice good listening, in faith, the more we find ourselves guided by the bodies of stories out there, the less we find ourselves guided by just our individual moments. More than being proud to be seen in novelty, we're honored -- at peace -- when we practice better, with the possibility of being a literal part of the classic; a shining measure of time in a timeless eternity.

Originally Posted 8/4/2011

4 comments:

ElectricLadyLike said...

Incredible. A synthesis of purpose...wow!
I luv this! Thank you for sharing. Its literally like music to the ears, and in this world, we need these kinds of reminders. From the Ancient to the present....

“Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.”

-Charlie Parker
how splendid. and music is creativity, so what we create (build/manifest) is to be lived...practiced.
very powerful...

kammyd said...

Truly appreciate your thoughts on this.





////If, however, we choose for our processes of literacy to never end, to always tell our stories
humbly, then all of our texts and works (written words, spoken words,
photos, videos, songs, performances) aren't just pictures of individual
moments, but also snapshots of a collective eternity full of texts and
works (stories) that guide us. ////





This makes so much sense and when I look at it this way, the limitations
of moments and the mechanisms to frame the moments that I once
perceived are only limitations when we dwell in the realm of ego and
novelty. They aren't limitations at all in the macro, continuous,
timeless sense -- there's truly a "bigger picture" to consider. Again --
noted and SO appreciated.  

achali said...

@ElectricLadyLike:disqus I agree. Music is just another name for creation... "Parker's Rule" is widely applicable!

@kammyd:disqus lol. Good pun. "Only limitations when we dwell in the realm of ego and novelty"... true indeed. And not just when we're creating "texts" but when we're reading them too. For example, I think travel is a key component of education. It's hard to escape the ego when I simply look at a photo. You ponder it, but with an advertising culture, we ponder thousands of images thousands of times a day and it becomes difficult to feel the spirit. But when I've stood in a place that an ancestor in a photo stood, or have actually sung a song that an ancestor sung... ... ... you know?

achali said...

Watching that "This (black) American Life" interview with Carla Aaron-Lopez reminded me of this post. Especially the tension in her comments on being "a representation of black people..." but refusing to "represent a whole, because there are so many different kinds of black people..." The concept/principle/value/belief/practice of Mdw Ntr that Parker hints at here is precisely brilliant to me right now because  the balance it demonstrates. These black folks figured out thousands of years ago how to reconcile the individual with the whole in an organized, yet honest and free fashion. The more I learn the more I realize both how true Solomon's "there's nothing new under the sun" is, and how important and beautiful and "shining" individual or "new" moments are as well. Our deep past has much to offer us, towards practical, "philosophical" and spiritual reconciliation and peace for our anxieties.

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