Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bursting out of our skins

Why do some people seem more at home in themselves? I went to see the Matthew Herbert Big Band recently. Herbert hopped and wriggled and twisted and jived as he manipulated the sound. He looked almost dreamy, content. Meanwhile, the stunning Eska Mtungwazi, vocalist, had the crowd eating out of her hand. Her voice and presence filled the concert hall, as she shimmied and swayed her way through the music. I had a sense that these people had found, and were delighted to celebrate, their power. Quite simply, Eska has found her voice; and Herbert has found his voice through writing music and having it performed.

It's such a privilege to be in the presence of people who are just bursting out of their skins with being alive - it makes me wonder what the rest of us are doing with ourselves. I have some romantic notion that all of us could be glorious like that, in all different ways, if only we weren't so scared of ourselves or of what being glorious might entail. It's like we can't find the true note of our lives, and are fluffing up and down the scale, never quite hitting that C.

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