I want to talk a little about songwriting inspiration in particular. I'm not the kind of songwriter that cranks out a ton of songs. Or haven't been, anyway. I tend to wait until I feel something that really needs to be expressed. I have to be inspired. And then I try to get some clarity about it: what is it exactly that needs to be expressed and why? I sit with it. With the muse... with the Great Spirit... with whatever it is inside of me that is wanting to express. Like sitting with a dear friend... just being with them. Listening. Really listening. And allowing the "conversation" between us to unfold. Getting everything out there... raw at first... and then caressing and refining until "we" are singing together. That's how I know when it's become a real song. When I can't get it out of my head. I'm singing it and feeling it and can even hear the full orchestration in my head and being. I become one with the song and the spirit it came from. Pretty amazing, actually.
Anyway, it was a crisp fall day in October when my latest song made itself known. Eric and I were out for a country drive, close to where we live, and I can remember being in and out of conversation with him as thoughts and ideas kept creeping into my awareness. It was a few weeks prior to election day and the air (and cyberspace) was filled with a whole lot of ugliness. On all sides. I remember knowing that we indeed needed to stand up and make our voices heard louder than ever... but what I was seeing was a whole lot of fear and desperation in the attempts to do so. I was getting a distinct message that any steps toward real change or progress had to be taken in an energy of LOVE. Fiercely promoting all that love stands for in an energy of love. That was key. I remember talking to Eric on that drive... trying to put into words what was coming through me. "I want to say something about the importance of standing up and taking action... but doing so from a deep place of knowing truth rather than out of desperation. And most importantly, not to lose heart in the process." He just looked at me and said, "Well... just say that". Sometimes I think things have to be more clever or complicated. ;-)
When we got back home, Eric got out of the car, but I just sat there in the passenger seat. I told him to go ahead... that I'd be in shortly. But I sat there a good long while. Listening until I heard the words. Then I went inside and started writing. After a couple of days, a few rough drafts, singing into my phone, and plunking out chords... a song called "Watch Love Rise" was born.
It's not unusual or a big deal that I wrote a song. Songs happen. And yay for that! (they are always gifts) :-) But the way this particular one came through me, like a Spirit-driven thunderbolt at such a precarious time in our evolution as human beings (showing up politically), feels especially powerful to me. And bigger than me. Definitely bigger than politics. And what's interesting is that I wrote and completed the song before the election... with a very different outcome in mind. I thought I was writing about trusting that the right person would rise up and take office. I was as shocked and disheartened as anyone about how things turned out. This is when I truly realized the song and message were bigger than me. And even more relevant. It isn't about looking to any one political leader for real change. It's about looking to and having faith in our only real leader: LOVE. Anything other than love is just False Evidence Appearing Real, as they say. Yup. FEAR. We get to make a choice to watch love rise... to see through the disguise of fear. And we can BE LOVE so fiercely and radically that it has no other choice but to rise up and lead us... en masse.
I realize this might sound a bit Pollyanna... and I have no intention of hiding in a spiritual bubble... but I think it's important to lean into Spirit heavily, especially in times like these. And to take Spirit-driven action.
So... a bit more about the song and how the particular version/recording attached to this blog came to be. I had been scheduled to sing at New Thought Center for Spiritual Living in Lake Oswego, Oregon, the Sunday following election day. Funny thing is, I wasn't originally scheduled for that day... it was a "make up day" for an earlier Sunday I had to cancel. Anyway, the songs had been chosen in advance, but in light of all that had happened that week, I was inspired to pitch "Watch Love Rise" instead. Eric and I had created a piano/vocal live demo, so I shared it with David York, NTCSL's music director, and it struck the right chord. In a very short time, this very busy man scrambled to create a chart for the band and even write parts for back-up vocals. We all met on Sunday morning to rehearse before the services, and with just a couple of run-throughs, magic was made. I remain in awe of what each player and singer contributed individually and collectively to a song they had no awareness of until the morning we performed it (Or did they? Ahhh... that "one mind" thing). The song was performed and received so powerfully that morning. I will never forget the reciprocal energy in the room. And the beauty of it is that the performance was recorded (by Rand Deahl) in such a way that it could later be mixed and fine tuned (which Eric did).
I share all of this with you to illustrate the divinity involved. I have gotten strong nudges about this song from the moment it was conceived. I mentioned that I heard Melissa Etheridge singing it in my head. It's true. I woke up one morning (after I had written the song) and she was singing it, unmistakably, as if it was HER song. She owned it. And she rocked the heck out of it with all that passion and conviction she's known for. It felt SO real. Now, I like Melissa Etheridge, but it's not like I've followed her to any extent. I had to Google her to see what she's up to these days. My jaw dropped a little when I discovered her philosophies and spiritual beliefs aligned so completely with mine... and that she had even written a song called "Uprising of Love" just a few years ago. Whoa. So I'm not sure what it's all about, but I do feel like I need to share this song with her. I'm listening, Universe... keep the leads coming. :-)
We all have the potential for Divine Magic in our lives... and it's best when it's shared, for sure. I am called to share this song with as many people as I can. If you are so inspired, by all means, please share it as well! No matter what "side" we're on politically, I have hope that we can all agree on LOVE. Love doesn't take sides... it just IS. The only thing that holds us back from love is fear... and the illusion of control. Love is the only thing that can break down walls and melt the hardest of hearts. This is the message I am carrying with me into the new year and sending out to the world.
"Love is a mighty power, even in the darkest hour... and every disguise. Watch Love Rise.........."
Namaste, my friends. And Happy New Year!