The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s second annual INfusion Music Festival took place this past May. One of the festival concerts was very different from the usual live symphony experience. The first half presented Liquid Interface, a composition by Mason Bates. It blends the orchestra and electronic sounds with shifts between the two occurring seamlessly. Liquid Interface is described by the composer as “a piece inspired by water in its variety of forms, inhabiting an increasingly hotter world in each progressive movement.” It was fascinating how the sounds of the live orchestra and synthesized elements created flowing streams and dripping water. The air felt as if it was cooled with the evaporation of sound.
The second half was an equally amazing experience, combining the powerful lyrics and vocal talent of Amos Lee with the full Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. At times the orchestra provided a beautiful lush backdrop; while other times the orchestra added a power and richness to Amos Lee’s performance that was transporting.
This was another case of a mesmerizing live musical performance triggering my creative flow and I had to capture the words as soon as possible. Typically, I would reach for my phone to make a few notes, but there was no way to do that during the concert without being disruptive. So, as soon as the final song ended and everyone leapt to their feet in a standing ovation, thumbs flew into action creating a stream of text messages to myself. A great deal was captured in that moment, and once I was home, the poem was put on paper in one rapid-fire release. Some of the lines I do not yet understand, but nothing was filtered out as words poured onto the paper. No doubt Liquid Interface, Amos Lee and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra filtered through my mind and spirit that evening to allow creation of a “River of Light”.
The moon is often very prominent in the sky during my morning commute. The cool silvery glow is a perfect transitional light from the period of rest and renewal at home to the mentally intense part of the day at work.
Photo credit: NASA Images
On one summer morning something in the sky was different. An object with a bright golden incandescence hung in the sky very near the moon. I assumed it was a plane, yet the object never moved position. During the remainder of my drive, the moon and this other jewel in the sky remained as a pair.
From a google search for star near moon in the sky, I learned it was not a star glowing near the moon, it was a planet – Venus. Immediately, my mind began racing. There is a great deal of symbolism associated with Venus in art and mythology. The allure and feminine mystique of Venus ignited my creativity and this poem resulted.
Is death an ending or a beginning? Is it one big event or something small occurring periodically and often? Is dying a time of sorrow, or a time of healing? Maybe, death is all of these things collectively.
These are the kinds of questions I have pondered in deep conversation with a friend who is like no other in my life. In fact, I refer to her as my spirit sibling. During our discussions, every part of my being is engaged, with hours and hours easily passing. There is no judgement and no fear. Minds are open and debate draws out Truth (yes, with a capital ‘T’). Our dialogue can be exhausting and exhilarating simultaneously, and magical things come out of them like this poem.
I knew sharing this poem was right one afternoon while listening to the band Hammock and their album Oblivion Hymns. The final track, “Tres Dominé”, is possibly the most hope-filled and uplifting song I have ever heard. Ironically, in an interview about the album, the band stated the collection of songs is about saying goodbye. Hmmm…..is death uplifting? Check out “Tres Dominé” here.
I suffer from Sudden Hypersensitive Anxiety With Noise (SHAWN) Syndrome. Wait….what? That’s not a real medical condition? Well, I will have to look into that later.
Extraneous sounds while I am focused and trying to accomplish a task are like nails on a chalkboard. Clicking sounds, electronic beeps or buzzes and noisy chatter infiltrate my central nervous system which can easily short circuit. The reaction may be one of frustration, anger or even on the verge of a panic attack. Yes, it is ridiculous that I am unable to just deal with the noise and tune it out, yet that is not how my brain works. Sensory overload is one of my weaknesses.
Ask my wife what happens when I am driving and something starts rattling in the car. A creaking dashboard equals time to start shopping for a new vehicle. I once stuck the little red tube attached to a can of WD-40 into the dash of my Ford Escape, saturating the inside with the wonder fluid to stop a squeaking noise. If you are wondering about the level of success – there is a reason that is not among the thousands of uses listed on the can. WD-40 does NOT make a good air freshener either.
This poem came about during a flare up of SHAWN Syndrome. There are similar poems to share in future posts, but……….aaaaAAAAA, what is that ringing noise? Sorry, gotta go.