Saturday, July 30, 2016

Into the Fire

It was a day of tears and laughter yesterday and shouldn’t every day be? Beautiful mirror movement in the jazz class to recorded jazz ballads—Ella, Billie, Blossom Dearie—then a swingin’ Milt Jackson blues, a joyful Shim Sham Shimmy dance to a live rendition of Exactly Like You (play, sing and dance, people!) and then a hot Latin groove with Listen Here. This was our jazz show to be shared with the other two Orff courses and wasn’t it impressive how well these folks played after a mere five days of jazz immersion? Equally lovely to see and hear Janet Greene’s Intro. Class share their explorations of the power of elemental music, dance and drama and then the potent combination of Keith Terry and Linda Tillery’s virtuosic, sophisticated, get-down, soulful combining of our most powerful instruments, the body and the voice. Especially moving was the closing “Ain’t I Got a Right to the Tree of Life” and I believe the ancestors stopped in to enjoy that and I believe they were so happy.

In a sane and normal life, there would be some moments now to digest, de-compress, reflect and savor the harvest of these intense past five days. Sometimes I have the good sense and luxury to do that. But the world is on fire and we need to keep hauling the buckets of water far beyond our usual capacity. So I have exactly three hours to close out the last course, pack for the next one and pick up my partners-in-crime at the airport and head down the two hours plus to Hidden Valley Music Seminars in Carmel Valley to begin the next two-week communal gathering of joy, laughter, tears, music and dance with some 100 souls from around this planet— the Orff Levels training.

When I say the world is on fire, it’s not just a metaphor! The Big Sur fires have been blazing uncomfortably close to Carmel Valley and I hear that we will be breathing the smoke for some days to come. And when I talk about going into this next course like jumping from the frying pan into the fire, there is a literal quality to it! May the winds blow south and the fire be extinguished!

I better get packing. 

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