Then, as people walked by wondering what the singing was about, we'd wave and welcome them in. We were joined by two more young guys, then three more young guys, a group of three young girls, and soon we were a group in total of about twenty, singing simple songs together in the army bunkers.
They were all middle-and-high-schoolers and -- though some of them sometimes would look sideways at each other, wondering if what they were all doing was socially acceptable, or kept themselves composed in a way that said "this is a little crazy" -- everyone sang, and smiled. And we sang! Soulfully, song after song, getting into more complicated rounds, four part harmonies. The very words we sang, "If you can walk, you can dance. If you can talk, you can sing," an affirmation to the magic of our insta-choir.
Gretchen Sleicher turns to me as everyone is leaving and says, "You know what that says to me? EVERYONE can sing and wants to sing." We've seen the number of intentional singing programs in and out of schools increases as public funding for the arts decreases. Somehow, in the collapse of everything, resurgence is happening consciously, and perhaps everything -- from art programs to villages -- needed to die in order to bring our deepest needs for things that are simple and important to existence now with intention.
The musical vibration of song is a deeply primal Placemaking tool. At once, we are in a cement room surrounded by gun batteries, and at once when we are leaving one young man says, "Now these will never be scary." Our voices bring a change to the space that is in one state, and then is transformed. I have felt in every place where I have sang, some indescribable energetic shift in the universe that began in resonance from a musical tone. Laurence Cole often says, "Human Being are Singing Things," and it is well believed we have been singing long before there was language. I feel this remembered by the Earth, and Everything listens deeper to each other with the singing of Human Beings, just as the quiver of aspen leaves and the trickle of a creek.
Some Buddhist monks undergo an initiation of seven years of isolation in a cave, removed from society and much of the natural world, so that when they emerge they are so touched by the beauty of the physical world that they remain in a state of bliss for the rest of their life. After building at Laurence & Deanna's house last week, we went to the beach for sunset and as we remembered this, we thought with so many millions of people confined to office cubicles and factory sweat shops, we've got an entire culture of enlightened bliss right on the edge! The initiation of 'the information age' will free itself into grief, and creativity, and Love deeper than we have possibly known as a species. We saw a glimpse of this with the teenagers who joined us, many of whom expressed they've never done anything like that before, and who sang proudly together.
I climb to the top of the bunkers to watch the sunset. I'm singing with just myself, still processing the magic that has just occurred with the teenagers and us below. An enormous cannon used to shoot from below where I stand, out into the ocean where I see the golden-rose light outlining the San Juan islands, Victoria, BC, turning the sea into liquid Love. Last night, a friend and I ate dinner at sunset on the other side of the water, Port Townsend looking like a speck of civilization, sailboat harbors, gushing smoke from the paper mill... a tiny cluster of activity only a thumbprint on the base Olympic Mountains, blue and snowy, behind their proud evergreen foothills. What once was war, is now watched over in relative peace, and I feel this as a prayer for peace everywhere. I stand on the place we looked out to yesterday, the cascade mountains are strong at my back and blushing pink and I can't help but know I live in one of the the most beautiful place on Earth in this moment.
Sunlight streams through a fine filter of beauty, through tall grasses, butterfly wings, blooming wildflowers, and fantastic cloud forms, then touching the ground. This Place is changed this with our presence and our song. I feel the words of Alexa Sunshine Rose deep in every molecule of my body:
We are created by sound, we are created by the song of the universe.