Barbara Emrys

Forever and Always

I’ve been giving some thought lately to where we can go when we’re not “allowed” to go anywhere. You could say this is the same message you’ve heard me deliver before, but how can any of us resist a good reminder?
While I was listening to music this morning, I came across a song that dated way back to my teenage years. I hadn’t thought about the song in a long time, but as soon as first few guitar notes began, I felt a wave of calm. I played the song about six or seven times in a row. I still knew every word, every note of every background instrument. So I sang along to it. I sang the lyrics over and over again, until my dream shifted. I sang until something unexpected happened.

People like to say that something “strikes a chord.” Well, yeah. The song struck an emotional chord in me, of course, and a musical-memory chord. But it also seemed to pull some kind of psychic ripcord that tossed me out of my own dream and set me sailing beyond time and space.

It certainly seemed that way. It felt that way, but I hadn’t really gone anywhere. We don’t really have to go anywhere to “go places.” In this case, I wasn’t thinking of a certain time or even a certain place. I wasn’t thinking of long ago, or right this minute. For a few weightless moments, I wasn’t thinking at all.

I was sensing everything, all at once. Every possible emotion was available to me. The music was a portal to all moods, all dreams, and I was the voice, the song, the orchestra. I was also everything that preceded the song and everything that followed.

I was all of life.

Yes, while I listened, I had the sense that I was life. That feeling commanded my complete attention for a little while– a fleeting reminder of the truth. We are not creatures of the moment. We are not this thing or that person. We are everything at once. We have every possible emotion available to us, but we tend to choose one emotional note and dig into it. We say, “This is who I am,” and dig in a little more.

Our attention is always on the immediate situation and on our pressing emotional needs. We are mesmerized by current events, forgetting that we’ve seen it all, done it all. Even without history books, we know. We know how humanity gets itself into trouble and how it wiggles itself out. We know that people are predictable, and we know that they can also surprise us. We know we have limited power in the world dream, but we also know our power is immeasurable.

We exist in these bodies, but we’re also free to sail beyond matter with a flip of a psychic switch. I didn’t go anywhere when I was listening to an old song this morning. I stayed where my body was, but I got a break from my memories and expectations. I got a break from having to know things. And my body got a break from me.

It isn’t just music that can do it for us. It’s our mind, when it’s willing and able to reach beyond itself. Give your mind permission to do that. Give it a moment to drift away from now, so that it can rest a minute in forever and always. Give it the chance to yield completely to life, to love.

We’re beginning a new year, and it can be the start of a new era for you. It can be a time where you’re free to sail beyond matter and memory, whenever you want. It can be a time when a song can take you anywhere…and when your love for life can bring you right back home.

Happy New Year!
Barbara

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