…is in the air for all things in the natural world, along with a veritable sprouting up of things musical, theatrical, poetical and artistic, into which I immerse and disappear, wrapping myself up within, and winding myself ’round their various notes, rhythms, stanzas, choruses and brush strokes…
…contemplating what we are trained to believe, what we think is true, how we relate to ourselves and to one another, how we fit into the wondrous and wicked planet on which we live. For but a moment. For but a lifetime.
How do we record our experiences here, what we see, what we feel, what we want to say…with words, songs, brush strokes. How do we?
I hardly know which artist to offer up, whether it ought to be the English poet/playwright Kate Tempest< who claims the art of rap for herself from first to last spoken rant.
“We have jealousy
and tenderness and curses and gifts.
But the plight of the people who have forgotten their myths
and imagine that somehow now is all that there is
is a sorry plight,
all isolation and worry –
but the lift in your veins
it is godly, heroic.
You were born for greatness;
believe it. Know it.
Take it from the tears of the poets. – Kate Tempest
Or whether it should be Alabama Shakes, whose front woman, Brittany Howard, speaks for so many when she says about belting it out in front of a crowd:
“That’s why I’m there. For that connection. It’s hard to explain. The only thing I can say is that it makes the world seem not so bad, to know that people do like you, that they think like you, that they get it. It’s good to know you’re not all by yourself.”
Or perhaps it is the art of Monir Farmanfarmaian, a 91-year old Iranian artist who finally has a show at the Guggenheim, a museum she used to visit when she was a child, and who begs us to ask how long it will take for the power of art as a dialogue for peace, humanity, life, love and healing to eradicate the more prevalent international taste for war and violence.
Of the art collection she lost when she and her husband had to flee the Islamic Revolution, she says:
“They took everything, even my shoes and my underwear. “Don’t talk to me about it or you’ll make me cry.”
Or I could just as easily have started with the story of Raeda Taha, a Palestinian writer and performer, whose one woman play, Where Can I find Someone Like You, Ali, tells, in highly personal terms, the Palestinian side of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. More war. More violence. More theatre. More words. More art.
I long to write an interactive post tying together the thoughts, the words, the art of each of these women, speaking to one another and to us across cultures. But perhaps in the end it’s just as well that I can’t…because you’ll just have to click on each of the below links and go on a discovery journey for yourselves.
But it will be worth it.
On second thought, I think I’ll offer up Kate’s The Beigeness, ’cause this young woman is awesome. Listen.
P.S. Plus… Jane Satan Rakali says this is The Year of the Goat, the year in which Art defeats War. Hope does spring internal…that from a woman who doesn’t believe in hope…
Kate Tempest, a Young Poet Conjuring Ancient Gods:
Kate Tempest website:
Alabama Shakes’s Soul-Stirring, Shape-Shifting New Sound:
In One-Woman Show, Protégée of Arafat Offers an Ironic Take on a Conflict:
The Ghost of a Martyred Father Hovers Over Babel Theater:
#KateTempest #AlabamaShakes #MonirFarmanfarmaian #RaedaTaha #Rap #Poetry