In January 2015 I officially broke up with radio.* As a former and still occasional event DJ and music lover, this was hard for me to do; but, it finally reached a level of toxicity in my life. I’m not worried that I might have just become a grumpy older adult harping on the music that these kids listen to today. I am more interested in freeing myself from the negative–small-minded, small-spirited, often misogynistic and sometimes simply mean–messages that are set to catchy tunes. I am more interested in reclaiming my mental space from inane deejay chatter and commercials selling me things that I do not need, and that probably actually poison the world. This radio break-up had been building for a while, but it finally all came to me in a dream…
I often have intense dreams; I visit new places in the world (or out of this world), I process a lot of emotions, I occasionally save the world from an alien invasion or ride out another tsunami or miss another plane (my form of anxiety dreams). And sometimes this all happens to the booty-thumping-bass-beat of Katy Perry, or Ludacris, or whatever ear worm got stuck in my head from earlier in the day when I wasn’t really paying attention and was just station surfing. I find this extremely disconcerting, and absolutely telling. We absorb what we hear into our bodies; it literally becomes part of our dreams. The sounds and audio messages become part of our consciousness, part of our unconscious, and part of our collective consciousness.
Because of this I suggest that we would greatly benefit by paying closer attention to words, sounds and messages, AND by filtering out that which does not serve us. It is time to become caretakers and curators of our auditory senses.
Can you hear me now?
We must also be careful with the messages that we broadcast: Don Miguel Ruiz has eloquently shared this wisdom from a personal perspective in one of The Four Agreements. Quoted from his website:
“Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.”
(http://www.toltecspirit.com/, Don Miguel Ruiz)
I think, too, that it is telling that this same organ that processes sound is also the keeper of our balance and awareness of our body position in relation to the world. I also appreciate the love and wisdom of silence, so that I can hear my own inner wisdom (without a drum beat).
When I hear truth and love and wisdom from others, it brings me hope. I think we need to hear these messages of light and love over and over again. I want to belong to a powerful chorus of people who sing these songs. It’s okay if we sing it the same way and quote and re-quote each other so that love echoes throughout our collective unconscious and it’s more than okay if we sing it differently and diversely, and it’s okay if we sign it as our way of singing it!
Finally, I offer these audio clips, as it relates to sound and wonder and things that seem unbelievably synchronous and that make me feel small, humble, and full of awe of this world that we live in. I feel as though this is a glimpse the nimbus of how truly connected we all are this is a glimpse the nimbus of how truly connected we all are, and I seriously wonder: are some of the smallest beings on our planet singing the same song as our planet? What do you think?
One of these audio clips is of a video I took in the Amazon, in Brazil, about 50 miles from Manaus.
The other audio clip is called the “earth’s chorus” and is what the earth would sound like if the actual radio waves it emits were interpreted into sound waves.
If you close your eyes and listen, can you tell which comes from where?
ANSWERS: Chorus one = Amazon. Chorus two = Earth’s Chorus.
*Hi. Since I broke up with the radio, if you have any musical suggestions, please share! I do still love music and I am now relying upon my like-minded chorus mates to clue me in to good tunes to listen to and I bet others would appreciate the suggestions as well!
Footnote 1: I have also been thinking a lot about Nina Simone, who gave powerful voice to injustices that she saw and experienced, and how her music resonates today, and I’ve been wondering who is a modern day Nina Simone? Is anyone capturing the zeitgeist of the our U.S. culture to music? The grumpy despairing part of my brain wonders if pop music is doing exactly that—are we currently just that vapid?
Footnote 2: Music that I wrote this to was: Amazon Rainforest Relaxation Video.
Image: Lisa Slavid