Friday, February 06, 2009

Oh, Yeah!

One musical artist that I’ve long admired and enjoyed is British singer/songwriter Kate Bush.

In light of my recent post on the Sufi Way, and with it being a bit of a tradition at The Wild Reed for Friday night to be “Music Night,” I’d like to share this evening the music video for the song “Love and Anger” (from Kate’s 1989 album, The Sensual World). This particular video not only features ballerinas and a rock band fronted by Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour, but . . . wait for it . . . whirling dervishes!

Of course, in lesser hands such a farraginous concoction would end up a right royal mess, but in the creative vision and capable hands of the incomparable Kate Bush, it’s pulled off with confidence and grace.

If you can’t tell your sister,
if you can’t tell the priest,
’cause it’s so deep you don’t think
that you can speak about it to anyone.
Can you tell it to your heart?
Can you find it in your heart
to let go of these feelings,
like a bell to a southerly wind?
We could be like two strings beating,
speaking in sympathy . . .
What would we do without you?

NOTE: You can view the video for “Love and Anger” here.

I really like the imagery that Kate employs in this video – imagery that to me speaks of saying yes to liberation from oppression.

Notice, for instance, how when Kate’s holding the symbols of “the law,” of what could be seen as symbols of an oppressive imperial-like system of order and control, she stands immobile and isolated, unable to join in either the dance of the ballerinas, or the whirling of the dervishes. I think this is telling us something about the crippling effects of overt and dehumanizing legalism, of rigid systems of order and control, and of stagnant tradition: they prevent us from fully engaging in life.

Yet once such a burden has been taken away from her - by the ballerinas, no less! (perhaps not surprising as they’re the embodiment of grace) - Kate’s off on a wondrous, if somewhat unknown trajectory (she’s moving backwards, after all). One could say she’d been a dervish all along as, according to Neil Douglas-Klotz in
The Sufi Book of Life, the word dervish means “one who sits in the doorway, or on the threshold of something, ready to move on and transform him- or herself.”

I resonate with the sense of trustful anticipation (“Oh, yeah, Oh, yeah, Oh yeah!”) that Kate displays as she undergoes her transformation. It’s an anticipation that is expressed as a lover’s breathless cry - and one she maintains all the way to her joyous communion with the band. Here she moves freely and is able to impart encouragement, wisdom, and hope to her fellow travelers:

Well, if it’s so deep you don’t think
that you can speak about it,

just remember to reach out
and touch the past and the future.

Well, if it’s so deep you don’t think
that you can speak about it,

don’t ever think that you can't
change the past and the future.

And you might not, not think so now,
but just you wait and see
– someone will come to help you.

For more of Kate Bush at The Wild Reed, see:
The Man I Love
The Golden Compass

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
All at Sea
The Rhythm Divine
Saved Me
Crackerjack Man
My Theme Song for 1987
Rules and Regulations – Rufus Style
Engelbert: Not That Easy to Forget
Saturday Night
“And a Pitcher to Go”
Mmm, that Sweet Surrender
Ma Belle Amie
The Return of Maxwell
Maxwell in Concert
Soul Deep
Time and the River

Recommended Off-site Link:
Kate Bush News

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