This past summer, I attended a Florence and the Machine concert at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. Florence Welsh was both ethereal and inexhaustibly fierce as she sprinted around the stage like a sprite. Her performance as a whole and the passion in which she sang elicited a sense of reverence and rapture. In the song "Third Eye," Florence symphonically shouted:
Hey, look up
You don't have to be a ghost
Hidden amongst the living
You are flesh and blood
And you deserve to be loved
And you deserve what you are given
If you think those verses are powerful on the page, then I urge you to listen to the song (if not the entire album). You're in for a treat! Ever since the concert, I have felt inspired to emulate Florence's magic and imbue my poems with a bit more pep. I recalled this memory the other day when I was at the gym. I was listening to Sia's album, This is Acting, and looping "The Greatest" and "Alive" ad nauseum. Sometimes I need to be reminded of my strength and resilience. These musicians support me now the way Dar Williams supported me through my college years. For better or worse I have found the following quote from the Buddha to be true - "Whatever you frequently think about and ponder upon, that will become on the inclination of your mind." This can work for us or against us. Sometimes we need to be redirected. I have found poetry and music to be wonderful guides. I call on them in moments of debilitating stress, fizzing excitement and all the gradations between those two extremes.
Below is a poem I began scrawling on the subway home from the concert.