Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Angels of Our Souls

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead." - Louisa May Alcott



Angel Wings over Weldon Spring - February 2011

The last few days have been a jumble of love and loss and sacred thoughts. It seems our lives are full of crises these days. Raging political storms in the Middle East as well as here in America threaten to sweep us into oblivion. Raging weather storms across Europe and most of the U.S. have done the same in a very different sense. Personal issues of illness and sudden loss seem overwhelming at times. Our lives go in cycles, I know, but when we find ourselves in times of trial, confusion is often their manifestation. Confusion (in me, anyway) almost always results in sleepless nights, which then results in more confusion. The most difficult thing for me to do is find the discipline within myself to break the cycle,clear out the confusion, and continue to follow my aspirations.

Sacred thoughts. Some of you may have noticed that I've spent my Sunday posts examining sacred thoughts. Although I'm not a church goer anymore, I see the ultimate wisdom in setting aside one day each week to examine the Sacred.

Friday (Muslim) or Saturday (Jewish) or Sunday (Christian) could be your "Sabbath," depending on your faith. Or it could be any day of the week, depending soley upon your schedule. I don't really think it matters to the Divine Creator what day of the week we choose. The important thing is to set aside some time for yourself  (regularly) to rest and examine the Sacred.

I woke this morning, finally with a feeling of peace in my heart. The aria "Nessun Dorma" was running through my head. It may well be the most beautiful aria ever written, from Giacomo Puccini's opera, Turandot. The story, of a cold-hearted princess and the mysterious stranger with the unkown name who eventually melts her heart, seems unconnected to the musings of recent days, but the recesses of my brain, my heart and my soul know more than I give them credit for. I'm just a little slow to catch on.

It often happens for me that wisdom arrives within me in the form of Music. When I cannot "think through" an issue stalking me through my days (though my poor brain does try so very hard), understanding often wells up within me from the Unkown to come to me in the most eloquent way. A way that resonates with truth inside  me. A melody.

I've learned to listen to these "angels of my soul" who give me these Special Delivery Messages. They are persistent angels, too, for they continue to play the Tune of the Day incessantly until I finally take the message and read it. And so, this morning, I opened the message immediately.

Now, I'm no expert on opera. I came to that art form just within the last few years, and have only just begun to explore its immense complexities. But really, folks, there are some twisted stories in opera. Did you think the movie,  "Black Swan" was creepy? Then do NOT attend an opera. There are stories in opera of torture, witchcraft, duplicities, and madness that would make Odille cower in a corner. Really. In Il Trovatore they throw a baby into the fire. How twisted is that? But I digress.

Most operas also contain messages of the conquering power of love, which usually puts the madness into perspective, after all. I think that was the message brought to me this morning.

The phrase itself, "nessun dorma" translates to "no one shall sleep." They do have a sense of humor, those crazy angels. They know how little I've slept and how confused it's made me. The name of the aria is exactly what caused me to psychically sit up and take note.

The rest of the translation speaks of the stars that tremble with love and hope,  mixed with the lamentation of the inevitability of death. At the end of the aria, the stranger with the unknown name who sings the song declares, "All'alba vincerĂ²! VincerĂ²! VincerĂ²!" or " At dawn, I will win! I will win! I will win!"
It's a message of hope and ultimate victory over the turmoil in our lives.

The stranger of Turandot, whose name is revealed only at the very end of the opera, eventually transforms the heart of the princess and becomes emperor, giving hope to her entire kingdom. His name? Love.

I'm grateful to receive the messsages delivered to me and held so sweetly within Music. What is the angel of your soul? Is it intuition? Is it the voice of a loved one, the words of poetry, or the face of a child?  Maybe it's far away in the sunshine and the sky. Whatever it is, I hope you heed its universal message of hope and ultimate power of love. With it, we see the beauty of our aspirations and where they just might lead.

Peace be yours today, my friend. Love will conquer all.

 The incomparable Placido Domingo sings "Nessun Dorma" from Turandot.


14 comments:

  1. How magnificent! Does lack of sleep give one more time to improve their thoughts of woa? Perhaps that too is a blessing.

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  2. Love your thoughts Jo. I too have had restless nights all this week. I think it's because having experienced losses that are unexpected and untimely brings to mind all the emotions of having to deal with what comes after. It's so hard to lose those you love and I totally empathize with the grief.

    It's always struck me that even though things are never the same after the loss, they continue to be much the same in so many ways. The sun still rises in the East, life does go on.

    Love never dies and how blessed are those that have experienced it and allowed it to affect their lives in a positive way.

    By the way...I think you're one smart cookie.
    Love and hugs!

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  3. what a wise and lovely post jo! so much floods in to remind me to be "awake" and not sleeping. some of it on the surface of my life - the worries, the tasks, the challenges. then some from the depths and the heights of whatever is attached to my existence here. "sleep" is for me as much about a state of awareness as it is about rest. i wonder if nessun dorma has anything of that embedded in its deeper mappings? steven

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  4. What a loving and beautiful post! You are "one very smart cookie" and I am honored to be a friend. Love will conquer all~~<3

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  5. Interesting question, 2Birds. That may well be the way we work through our woes, right? We have so much to do during our days that our nights may have become the only time to do this work.

    Thanks so much for visting and commenting. I appreciate the food for thought!

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  6. Right on all counts, Linda. Empathy, memories, and experience break through the past and into the present. It's a mixed bag, isn't it?

    I'll take it, as long as Love is involved...and it usually is.

    Thanks for the kind words, chica, and the reminder that love never really dies. It just takes on a different shape. xoxo

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  7. Thank you, Steven. YES! 'Awake' and 'asleep' are really subjective terms, aren't they? I'm sometimes at the height of my awareness when I am at rest.

    I do think that Puccini tapped into someting much deeper as he wrote "Turandot." The entire work is metaphorical, but when he sets the female chorus just offstage during Nessun Dorma to sing, "E noi dovrem, ahime, morir!" (And we must die, alas!), it feels entirely philosophical.

    Thank you for visiting, Steven. I appreciate your perspective so very much.

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  8. Hi Vicki! I SO appreciate your and Linda's very high compliment, but as for smart cookies, I'm way behind my gypsy friends.

    Writing posts often brings up more questions for me than answers, but the comments are what most often brings true wisdom.

    Thank you for always being there for me, Vicks. xoxo

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  9. I'm with you and Steven about sleep; it's an altered form of consciousness, a gateway into the dreamscape. When I don't get enough sleep, it ain't pretty.

    Just like you I've been jostled and confused this week. I had a teacher who always said that confusion is the first step in learning. I guess that's right, at least it resonates for me.

    We're very very lucky to have each other, to read each other's thoughts here and on FB. Equally we are so lucky to have music. It is (to my mind) the most important art form, reaching deep and not so deep.

    Nessun Dorma tonight, dear friend. Sweet dreams.

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  10. Thank you, Reya.

    I never considered that confusion could be a step toward learning. I suppose (for me, anyway), it's sort of catalyst to learn.

    And music reaching deep and not so deep? YES.

    You are also right about friendship. It is the lifeboat in a sea of turmoil.

    much love, Reya,
    xoxo

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  11. "It often happens for me that wisdom arrives within me in the form of Music".

    indeed

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  12. Hello Jo - thank you for visiting my blog. This is a return visit and I have enjoyed it so much that I shall put you on my blog list. I can relate to so much of what you say. What helps me is not music (although I am a musician and play regularly) but words. I love the books of Ronald Blythe (he mixes country life/religion/anecdotes about various poets etc and I find it most uplifting. Do try it.
    I do have sleepless nights and usually get up, go downstairs so as not to keep the farmer awake, and read over a cup of tea.
    Do call again. I send you love from the Yorkshire Dales.

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  13. Yes, Rick, but I am in awe of those who put that wisdom into their own words and melodies. Song writers are on an entirely different level of awareness, a place where I have never been. It must be incredible there.

    Thank you so much for visiting.

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  14. Welcome back, Weaver, and thank you very much for adding my blog to your list. Yours is a window to another world and I can't tell you how very much I enjoy it. I look forward to every post.

    I've not read Blythe's work, but it sounds wonderful, and I will seek it out today. Thanks so much for the tip.

    And you're a musician, too? My goodness,you are a mighty woman!

    I appreciate your visit and your kind remarks very much. Thank you once again.

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Your visit makes my heart smile. Thank you.