Wednesday, October 23, 2019

This Is the Time

Today I celebrate 54 years of life on this beautiful planet and of connection to some truly inspiring individuals and communities.

And I have to say that for all of this I am grateful beyond measure.

As has been the tradition at The Wild Reed, I mark the occasion of my birthday by sharing a song or prayer or reflection that I find particularly meaningful.

On my 44th birthday, for instance, I shared Stephan Gately's performance of “No Matter What,” and when I turned 45 I shared “Where the Truth Lies” by the band Exchange.

In 2012, when I turned 47, I shared a prayer for balance at a very trying time, not only for me, but for many of us here in Minnesota.

Five years ago, on the first day of my fiftieth year, I shared a “guidepost on the journey,” and then one year later on the day of my 50th birthday, I shared Buffy Sainte-Marie's rousing “It's My Way.”

In 2017, when I turned 52, I shared a beautiful poem by John O'Donohue; while last year on my 53rd birthday, I shared vocalist Carl Anderson's “Love Is,” a beautiful and powerful meditation on the mystery of love (something I seem to be constantly pondering and wrestling with!)

This year I'm happy to share “This Is the Time,” a beautiful song by Senegalese singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daby Touré. It's from his 2012 album Lang(u)age.

Daby Touré's music has been described as a “soothing balm for the soul,” and, as World Beat International notes, even though Toure's “roots extend back to Mali, his family has spread to Senegal and Mauritania where Daby was raised soaking up the sounds of a vibrant, cultural hub.” Then, “like so many West African musicians before him, Daby fled the instability of the region to pursue his career in Paris.” It's not surprising, then, that Lang(u)age is an “intimate musical rendition of personal memories and multiple identities.”

The album version of “This Is the Time,” features French rapper Oxmo Puccino. However, in the 2015 live rendition below, Daby performs the song solo. (For Daby's full 30-minute performance and interview in the studio of Seattle's KEXP Radio, click here.)

After the video, I'll talk a little about why I chose to share Daby's “This Is the Time” on my birthday this year.

In my life when I try
In my life

There's a sign it is so
In my life

Read the sign and I know
It is so

In your life that you see
It is so

It's so easy for a man to lose control
In everyone he knows
And again we face a lonely naked soul
Time to let it go
Don't blame me now

This is the time time time time
For us for us for us

This is so
Higher love
It is so
This is so
Higher love
It is so
Comin' in
Do you know higher love?
This is mine
This is ours
Don't let go

This is the time time time time
For us for us for us

I've been through a lot this past year: my dear Dad died, I started working full time as a palliative care chaplain, I ended a four-year relationship, and I moved house . . . twice.

Lots of endings, you could say, but also lots of beginnings. . . . and a very real sense that, as Daby Touré sings, this is the time.

I feel it deep within me. . . . Feel that it is not only a time of new beginnings but also of new understandings, new possibilities, a new level of awareness and action.

And I'm not just talking about within my personal life. I'm sure everyone reading this knows that the whole of humanity is currently being challenged by things like the climate crisis and the rise of authoritarianism. Such things can be paralyzing for some, but I see them as challenging us to evolve our way of being in the world.

Daby puts it in the following way when talking about “This Is the Time”:

It's a time for all of us in the world, for human beings, to understand that we all are the same, and we all come from the same place, and we are all going to the same place. And it is time for us to understand that . . . we have to live together.

I understand this “same place” as the place of awareness and embodiment of the “higher love” that Daby sings about.

Is it any wonder, then, that I'm so drawn to the presidential campaign of spiritual author Marianne Williamson. (I'm pictured at right wearing my “Marianne 2020” cap when out walking last weekend in the woods!) . . . I mean, Marianne  and her campaign are all about recognizing the need to embody this higher love in and through our lives, and thus our politics, so as to to go beyond the symptoms and address and transform the underlying problems that are causing so much harm in our lives and throughout the United States.

As Marianne recently said on The Conversation:

We need to do some radical truth-telling here. It can't just be a policy fix here and a policy fix there. It can't just be talking about the symptoms. We have to present to the American people a far more holistic, integrated vision of a real fundamental turning – a turning of the heart.

And elsewhere:

The hope for this country lies in the embrace of a politics that does not flow like bile from the power of an amoral economic system, but from the power of deep humanitarian principles at the core of our democracy. This speaks not just to changes in Washington but to changes in our hearts as well.

These are spiritually revolutionary times.

Rehearsal is over.

The time of change is now.

Such an insightful call to action brings to mind Greg Korn's recent YouTube comment: “Marianne Williamson has a rare ability to articulate the ethics of the Left in an approachable, graceful, confident, and wildly intelligent way. I truly believe that she's the most intellectually and philosophically sophisticated candidate I've seen in my lifetime.”

Marianne Williamson invites all of us to use politics as an instrument of love. Indeed, for decades, through her books and her activism, she has urged humanity to return to – and act out of – its deepest value and highest aspiration: love.

Her campaign theme song, appropriately enough, is Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground." But I think it could just as easily be Daby Touré's "This Is the Time"!

May it indeed be the time for all of us . . .

The time that sees each of us open ourselves to the love deep within us and all around us.

The time when in both our personal lives and our lives as members of society, we embody love and, in doing so, actively and consciously cast out fear and hate.

The time when we let go of all that constricts, oppresses, and consumes

The time when we welcome and trust the bold and the new and the extravagantly generous.

The time when we risk being vulnerable and trust that we are worthy of love.

The time when we read the signs around us and together act accordingly.

The time when it is so.

This is so
Higher love
It is so
This is so
Higher love
It is so
Comin' in
Do you know higher love?
This is mine
This is ours

This is the time time time time
For us for us for us

For more of Daby Touré at The Wild Reed, see the previous post:
Daby Touré

For more of Marianne Williamson, see:
The Relevance and Vitality of Marianne Williamson’s 2020 Presidential Campaign
“This Woman Is Going to Win the Nomination”: Matt Taibbi on Marianne Williamson in Iowa
Caitlin Johnstone: “Status Quo Politicians Are Infinitely ‘Weirder’ Than Marianne Williamson”
Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson: “We’re Living at a Critical Moment in Our Democracy”
Friar André Maria: Quote of the Day – June 28, 2019
Marianne Williamson Plans on Sharing Some “Big Truths” on Tonight's Debate Stage
“A Lefty With Soul”: Why Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson Deserves Some Serious Attention
Marianne Williamson: Quote of the Day – April 24, 2019
Why Marianne Williamson Is a Serious and Credible Presidential Candidate
Talkin’ ’Bout An Evolution: Marianne Williamson’s Presidential Bid
Marianne Williamson: Quote of the Day – November 5, 2018
In the Garden of Spirituality – Marianne Williamson

See also:
With Love Inside
On This "Echoing-Day" of My Birth
Turning 50
A Guidepost on the Journey
In the Eye of the Storm, a Tree of Living Flame
Journeying Into the Truth . . . Valiantly, of Course
No Matter What


brian gerard said...

Happy Birthday, Michael. Thanks for introducing me to this song!

Peter Grace said...

Wonderful reflection, Michael. May the coming year bring many new and wonderful beginnings for you.

Kirsty Chenery said...

Happy birthday to a beautiful soul.

Amy Danzeisen said...

Lovely post, Michael. I am so inspired by your practice of reflection! Hope to see you soon. ❤

Anne Hocking said...

Happy Birthday, Michael! All the beat for a wonderful year. Thank you for this thought provoking post.

Sandi Magnuson Hultman‎ said...

Much love to you on your birthday, Michael. I hope your day has been rich in everything that makes you feel wonderful.

Angela Hanson Shores said...

Happy Birthday! . . . Michael, you are truly a wonderful person! You embody the meaning of grace, kindness, patience, acceptance, and love. You have such a passionate and strong soul!

I love your thirst for knowledge, your talents for all things artistic, your stamina and unwavering commitment in the fight for justice, your independent and wise voice, your refreshing courage and adventurous spirit, your unique, sensual and dapper style, your compassion for your fellow humans and Mother Earth, and your beautiful heart and soul!

You are one of my most prized and treasured friends for life. Thank you for your friendship! I love you! I hope this is your best year yet as you deserve nothing but the best. I am so grateful that God brought us together almost 30 years ago. I look forward to many more. God Bless and have a wonderful day!

Joan Timmerman said...

Happy birthday, Michael. You are doing good work!

Florence Steichen‎ said...

Happy Birthday, Michael. Sending prayers and best wishes your way.

Jean Greenwood said...

Wishing you every blessing on your birthday and in the year to come! ♥️

Kathleen Olsen said...

I had not read your blog in awhile. Beautiful offering on your 54th birthday. Thanks, Michael. I needed to hear that song . . . for you, for me, for this crazy electorate of ours.