The most painful moments in our lives can be the greatest opportunities to self-actualize and heal, when we have the proper support. Flamenco music epitomizes the kind of attitude it takes to transcend pain in this way.
I was nineteen when I heard flamenco for the first time. I never knew such raw revelations of soul were possible, and it changed my life! I weep tears of beauty to see such honesty expressed as in this brief video:
Flamenco is traditionally an improvised art form. When ordinary people sing or dance flamenco, they are exposing their most intensely personal emotions with complete honestly to the people around them who are clapping, playing guitar, and providing community support.
Flamenco is a relatively new art form, and because the lyrics are always in Spanish and the poly-rhythmic beats are very complex, it is a largely undiscovered genre to most Americans. Flamenco is considered a “ceja,” a complaint, like the Blues. Feeling pain in the present moment, and expressing it artistically rather than denying what we feel, is very healing.
Flamenco music is woven throughout my book, because I wish to pass on the transforming power of this art form to others. The flamenco scenes in Other Wise are enhanced by my personal experience living in gypsy neighborhoods and with professional Flamenco artists in Spain for several years.
If the theme of today is learning how to become more humble, courageous and real, to learn from our mistakes, Flamenco is a perfect soundtrack!
When singing about our suffering, or vicariously singing through listening to someone else, the singer is no longer identified with the suffering. They have connected with something “other,” the watchful observer of our growing sense of awareness. When I see a Flamenco dancer perform or listen to Flamenco cante, I am reminded that there is a higher part of ourselves that beholds our own pain from a place of peace, strength and wisdom. This other, deeper, part of our being, the infinite resource of light within, is what will help humanity heal ourselves and heal the planet. Hence the title “Other Wise.”
Please contribute to my indiegogo campaign and help me publish Other Wise, a novel in the spirit of Flamenco!
Short Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9oL0LbnL88
If you have time to watch a full concert, I recommend this performance by my favorite Flamenco artist of all, Enrique Morente.
One hour concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO7mTTmvCTY