Past Regret, Future Change: I Am Choosing to Feel Pleasure Again

Healing for many of us comes through music. Listening to it. Breathing it. Creating it. Living it. On a daily basis, I find healing in listening to jazz musicians, rap, r&b and whatever else soothes the soul. I want to feel. I want to know that whatever moves me is a calling. An intentional feeling that is God-sent. For most of my life, I played the violin. I had found delight in it until I was told to leave it. I was told to separate myself from this. In following this interpretation of a religious-teaching from individuals of my community, I detached myself from it. I restricted myself from this deep and most-satisfying pleasure.

Years later, I had the strength to pull out a recording that my mother had of me when I was in high-school. It was an orchestra concert that I had played in for school. In listening to the bows race across the strings on our instruments, I felt tears falling upon my cheeks. I felt awakened. I felt at home. I felt whole. I felt as if God had pieced me back together after all of those years of being separated from a deep passion that I had in my life. This felt sacred to me. This act of simply listening to the music that I created with others felt beautiful. I was listening to a concert that I had remembered so intimately. I wanted to place my hands on a bow and hear the strings make music. I wanted to smell the wood. I wanted to see the risen fly to the heavens as my bow glide off of the strings. This was God-sent. Most divine. Most pleasurable.

In remembering this pleasure, I know the pain of being disconnected from what awakens your soul. I can’t get back the years that I was separated from my violin. I can’t. This will never be possible. However, I know that whatever makes you feel alive is something that you should keep close to. This feeling of joy is a blessing. This feeling of a deep and intimate happiness should make you understand the sacred nature of this thing that you love so much. In my years going forth, I will never allow myself to become separated from what gives me life.

In going forth in this healing-process, I wanted to share with everyone a jazz musician that truly awakens the soul, our beloved, Sun Ra:

“the trouble with the people on this planet is they refuse to think they refuse to believe anything except what they know”
― Sun Ra, Prophetika Book One