For many years I have been on a mission, driven by something I cannot put into words, until now.
Always a lover of words, often accused of being a grammar snob (or other ethnic slur) I love language and etymology. Yet, I speak only one. I love poetry, song and folk music I have studied mythology and theology and deep existential literature. I enjoy my penmanship and have dabbled in Caligraphy a time or two. I’ve had my handwriting analyzed by multiple people over the years and when in the military, I took great pride in my writing and editing skills, such as they were. I have book upon book lining the walls of my rooms and stacked in piles by my bed. I have written poems and lyrics since I was a young girl, always a lover of words. I love to play devils advocate and debate the other side, always in an attempt to get people to see the bigger picture or the other side.
I actually keep most of my opinions to myself, forever people watching, listening, analyzing, sizing up and filing away. Those that know me perhaps find this surprising, as I always seem to have an opinion and often I voice it. To that I reply, imagine the weight of the ones that I hold.
Like my father, and his father before him, a deep thinker, lost in my own head most of the time and often lacking the social graces or the “Politically correct” social refinement of one that most would consider an educated man.
I am often annoyed with the trivial distractions that many pay so much attention to. I am self-sufficiently entertained with my own thoughts. I prefer deep thought to meaningless conversation. I enjoy connecting with people I care about, but I prefer to do it in the more deep and meaningful experiences of life over large gatherings of people staring into phones or craning their necks to see something else on a larger screen. To me these are all distractions from what drives me from deep within. I enjoy deep conversations, roots of the soul kind of work, always asking more questions for deeper Socratic style understanding than to be hornery or difficult. Most often , I am misunderstood.
Today, as I write this, I must laugh at my three mirrors, each reflecting these very same qualities in their own way. Individually, each of my sons enjoy a good debate, they find it mentally stimulating and ethically challenging, just as my father does, and his father before him. Each of them often cast aside by the common; as arrogant, or ill tempered, or stubborn at best. I have heard each of these labels applied to me, over the course of my life, this journey of mine Stubborn, Tempered, Arrogant. These things are never my intent, but my interests are often of a scale of much more grandeur than those of many of my family and friends. This is a hereditary seed, born of deep thinkers, not arrogance, temper or stubborn will. My passion seeks to bring voice to the unheard parts of my mind, the deeper things I think about in my life. While those without this seed often misunderstand me, I have found kindred spirit in poets, artists, philosophers, musicians, and the great thinkers of man. I devour scholarship as hobby.
Often accused of lacking sufficient emotional quotient but knowing that my experience is actually quite the opposite. I am highly attuned to the emotions of others, Vast like the ocean, my emotional intelligence runs wide and deep. My emotional wells; the deepest of oceans; dark and brooding, fathoms upon fathoms of carnal emotional drops. My heart has etched upon it, emotional knowledge deeper than most could fathom. An old soul etched by the timeless, tireless weight of all the hearts I have encountered. It was not until I began to suspect my own empathic prowess, that I began to understand this. I started to ponder the possibility that I feel the emotions of others so deeply,that my own emotional energy repels them, when the well becomes saturated. I needed to understand this on a more cellular level, with science and analysis and the rational mind. As a lover of words, I struggled deeply with my own need to convey what I was just barely myself beginning to understand.
At some point, I created a timeline for myself. I wanted to see more clearly those times when the well of my emotions had become too much for me. It was easy to spot them, they were the big, earth shattering moments in my life; those moments when my loved ones perhaps said, “What were you thinking?” or “I don’t understand” Those moments when I had become so tangled in the emotional webs of others, that my soul no longer had air to breathe.
It didn’t take me long to see the circular patterns and cycles of growth and change. I discovered a common thread through these cycles, likely not noticed, had I performed the same exercise years before.
I started to notice a pattern; all of my high times; my best moments, where everything was in alignment came just after those lowest of lows. As if, each time, my heart became weighted down, without a voice, it would sink to rock bottom of the well and then like a geyser, spewing my emotional needs outward where they could no longer go unnoticed, no longer to be ignored.
When I drew out my 46-year time line, plainly marking each high and low, I was prompted to highlight my personal interests and hobbies as well and this is where I found the key to Pandora’s box; where I discovered the Stairway to Heaven, Hotel California, The Sound of Silence and my Yellow Brick Road.
Music, has always been the voice of my soul. I have always curated playlists to suit my needs. I have playlists to help me express anger, sorrow and pain. I have joyful playlists and sexy playlists and everything in between. I have sleep music and study playlists and just because. My tastes are eclectic, ranging from classical to rock and roll, from ambient to trance. I even have playlists for the moments when I only want to dance.
I have studied various dance styles over the years. As a young girl, I could be found break-dancing in the yard on cardboard boxes with all the boys. As soon as I was old enough to get into the 21 and under clubs, I was there every Friday night I could find a ride. I’ve studied ballroom dance, and Latin dance and even country and western. When I started looking at my timeline, I discovered that dance has always been like a meditation to me and when I was dancing, I was more clear headed and free to hear my muse and follow my heart.
In the valleys of my timeline, where the deep waters had etched their rusty orange canyons, I had discovered my rain dance. Dance has found its way into my recreation over the years in a plethora of ways. Each time my heart hears its call, dance becomes the echo of the soul.
In those deep canyons full of darkness and despair, I noticed there was no music or dance found there. But when my heart hears the rhythm and through dance, answers its call, my life comes into harmony with all involved.
In retrospect, It was here that I finally starting learning to exhale. Where I learned to cry, and yell, and scream and let go… to be a silent observer to all the emotional static of others, without attachment. Like a bathtub, I had been collecting all the dirty water. I needed to pull the plug and let it drain.
As I watched all those old, muddled waters circle the drain, I realized how much of that dirty water, was not even my own. A petrified forest, paying homage to rust.
It would be another year, before I finally understood the magnitude of this discovery.
Many Religions, popular psychology theories, artists and even business experts extol the virtues of meditation. Scientific evidence is starting to support the benefits of clearing the mind of the ego in order to hear more clearly the guidance of (insert whichever deity, hero or energy you prefer). Whichever dogma or symbology you choose to follow, The bottom line is this; meditation helps us hear our inner own inner guidance system. The more we meditate, the more clarity in the signal. My Ego is strong and its chatter incessant, dance provided me with welcome distraction.
In 2017, my search to understand mediation through dance and my seemingly unrelated wish for a more spiritual existence, I stumbled across Gabrielle Roth and 5Rhythms.
In May, of 2017, I took a week long workshop with, under the guidance of Lucia Horan, I danced the first first dance of my soul. This is where Sonic Catharsis was born.
The seeds of Sonic Catharsis were planted over a lifetime. Synchronicity abounds, all of my various hobbies, studies and experiences but clues to my own Hero’s Journey. It is without reservation I have come to understand this is my labor of love.
Mine is a journey of scholarship. My heart seeks to converge once and for all ; the humanities and science without restriction of dogma, politics and rational law. The seeds of religion, culture, psychology, language, music, dance, history, science and analysis, all seemingly unrelated interests and hobbies over the years each planted in the tree of my life, awaiting for light to give them sprout.
Sonic Catharsis is about my journey to healing through sound. It is scholarly and existential and challenges common knowledge of mankind. I am driven in this direction, a muse beckons the way.
I have found commonalities in scholars and savages alike and discovered myself along the way. Each crazy-sounding piece of the puzzle coming together in a beautiful concerto.
Sonic Catharsis is my OPUS, my attempt at giving my muses their due and in sharing my journey, an attempt to help you too.
If you have read all of these words and feel it leading to something existential, you are ready to hop in the rabbit hole and join me. It is a fantastic journey that will change your life forever, if you let it.
If you find yourself feeling squeamish and squirly at the idea of spirituality through sound, allow me lay down the scientific evidence I have found.
Whether your preferred medium is humanities or science, there is something here for you, I promise. The clues abound, if you give them a chance and let go over your ego, through chanting, music and dance.
Please join me on my Magic Carpet Ride.