28 February 2014

The thing with feathers and Immaculee Ilibagiza.

Hope is a Thing with Feathers – Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

As I read this poem by Emily Dickinson and considered its relation to the story of Immaculee Ilibagiza in her book Left to Tell, I envisioned a vivid picture of her ninety one days spent in Pastor Murinzi’s small bathroom with seven other women. Throughout her story, Immaculee delves into her deep-rooted relationship with God that developed as she prayed unceasingly in the tiny bathroom. The way Dickinson describes hope is exactly how Immaculee kept her faith during her hardships and horrors; the hope that Dickinson refers is the love and promise of God that Immaculee becomes so familiar and dependent on. Only a crumb of faith was asked of her – similar to the passage in Matthew 17:20 in which Jesus tells us that we need only faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains. The little bird, the thing with feathers, gave her visions of freedom, safety, warmth, and hope through the chilly storm. I think that’s a profound thing, is it not?

05 February 2014

A Uniting Art.

Art, whether through the form of music, writing, reading, painting, drawing, shaping, or anything at all, is a beautiful thing to be enjoyed by all. The endless forms allow for expression in any form for any purpose and is unlike any other marvel in the world. One of my favorite forms of art is music because of its beautiful combination of poetry, sound, and unity. Music can tell a story with little to no words just through the moving sounds it produces.

It can be funny to think how the classical stylings of Mozart, Bach, Brahms, and Chopin have translated to works by Falco, Relient K, Xzibit, and Coolio. Producer and rap artist Chris “Drumma Boy” Gholson puts it well when he said, “There is an electric synergy between the two genres of Classical and Crunk, but one has to have a discerning ear to recognize the instinctive connection.” Music has come a long way in a few centuries, but it will forever be rooted close to the heart of its beginnings.

Music has an undeniable uniting force that can bring even the classical junkies together with today's hip hop addicts. It can spread a message across the world - so as in the case of the band System of a Down who's efforts can be understood and seen in the documentary Screamers. Or the message singer/songwriter Steve Moakler delivers with his music and heart (which can be further understood after watching this short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJC29MAB0Ws&feature=c4-overview&list=UUQJXQtCCDgzRUrZwGDCg_uQ).

The message that is able to be spread with music is identical to that which is preached through other forms, proving that art surely must be a beautiful uniting factor in the world.