Carry On

So a couple of nights ago, I was cooking dinner for my live-in family like I often do. I love being in the kitchen, and I love listening to music while I cook. “Rock Me Amadeus” came on, and I began to reminisce a bit. I told my wife that I had searched for 30 years for this particular version of the song. Today, it's known as the “Salieri Mix”, but in 1985, on that cassette tape I had in upper elementary, it was just “Rock me Amadeus."

When I bought a CD of the Falco 3 album several years ago, I was disappointed. The version of Rock Me Amadeus was not the version I loved so well. This began an exhaustive search for my beloved version of the song. Year after year I was unsuccessful.

I recently discovered that in 2016, a 30th anniversary album of Rock Me Amadeus was produced. At last! There it was! Track 2: Rock Me Amadeus (Salieri Mix)!

As I was relating the story of this journey to my wife, it hit me… I've had similar relationships with several songs over the years.

Songs that for one reason or another connected with me on a soul level. Songs like Kylä Vuotti Uutta Kuuta by Värttinä, and The Thing by Phil Harris.

The stories of how those songs came to me are for another time.

I learned about the concept of carrying songs by participating in song circles for the past few years. I realized I had been carrying these songs for years.

It was at that moment, standing there in our tiny kitchen, cooking an amazing cabbage dish, I was overcome with chills. I've heard some people called them "truth tingles." The idea is that in those rare times when we stumble across a concept that resonates so completely with universal truth, our bodies and minds are overwhelmed with physical sensation. Usually for me, this type of sensation send chills down the back of my neck, and maybe makes the hairs on my arm stand up.

This time, my entire body was overcome by the tingling sensation.

I realized, I am a carrier!

While at Music Medicine training with Christine Stevens, I learned the concept of carrying drums.

A friend at that training brought a powerful, and unique drum with her. The voice of this drum inspires community, and togetherness. We discussed the fact that my friend does not own this drum, but rather carries it. She has been entrusted with the responsibility of caring for and sharing the beauty of this drum. Eventually, she will pass on this responsibility to another.

In that one moment, while cooking cabbage, I realized that I have been carrying many things for many years.

I am a song carrier, I am a drum carrier, and I am a story carrier.

While working as a music therapist in long-term care, and hospitals, I learned about the responsibility of carrying stories. People would often share their stories, or part of their story with me. With honor, I was able to bear witness, and when appropriate, share their stories with others.

Of course, with this new realization, comes a greater sense of responsibility.

I have known for years my life was to be a life of service. I realized quickly that the songs, drums, stories, and medicine I carry are not for myself. I carry them to serve others.

Maybe that is why I often end prayers with something I've read is a favorite of the Dalai Lama: guide me, and heal me, so that I may be of greater service to others.

What do you carry?

What gifts are you meant to share with this world?

To quote Manifesto by Nahko and Medicine for the People, find your medicine and use it.

Carry on my friends.

Every Day is a New Day

Today on my morning drive, I was noticing the extraordinary beauty of the landscape. I wondered if I had just been oblivious to it lately or if today was really exceptional for some reason. The thought entered my mind "It's a new day."

I was immediately reminded of that scene in Sister Act 2 where Whoopi Goldberg is preaching to her students about the fact that it was a new day.

Yesterday, significant things happened for both me and my wife in our respective lives. I was feeling so blessed that each of us are manifesting things to move our individual lives and thus our life together in the direction we desire.

With a joyful sigh, I thought, "It's a new day."

My reverie was gently broken by a thought somewhere way in the back of my mind... every day is a new day.

Yes! How could I have been so asleep? So mind identified? EVERY day is a new day!

When we ground ourselves in the present moment, each moment is new and each moment is an opportunity for awakening.

The old adage "SSDD, Same Shit Different Day" is a creation of the ego. This keeps us mind identified and unconscious.

My still mind identified outlook on life may be different today because of news from yesterday, but the essence of who I am has not changed.

Though our life situations may have changed, my wife and I are still the same physical forms embodying the universal consciousness as we were yesterday, last year or at the moment of our births into this lifetime.

Feeling so blessed for these brief moments of satori!

Every day is a new day...with countless opportunities to live right here, right now!