City fireworks. It’s a week old, but it’s still relevant, right? (at Sydney, NSW)—
here is a tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born, nor from when they are conceived but from the day that the child was a thought in its mother’s mind. And when a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. And after she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father, and teaches it to him. And then, when they make love to physically conceive the child, some of that time they sing the song of the child, as a way to invite it.
And then, when the mother is pregnant, the mother teaches that child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old women and the people around her sing the child’s song to welcome it. And then, as the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. If the child falls, or hurts its knee, someone picks it up and sings its song to it. Or perhaps the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty, then as a way of honoring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song.
In the African tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them.
The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.
And it goes this way through their life. In marriage, the songs are sung, together. And finally, when this child is lying in bed, ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song, and they sing—for the last time—the song to that person.
You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn’t. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well. You may feel a little warbly at the moment, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you’ll find your way home.
This is so sweet.
when-harry-met-hallie asked: I was wondering if you happened to read/see Joe Jonas's essay for New York Magazine. A shorter version can be found on E!'s website if you're interested. But basically Joe talks about the things we don't see that go on behind the scenes at Disney and explained the pressures that were put on him and his brothers. Many things he talked about were shocking and I was wondering if you agreed with him or had any thoughts of your own on the subject
I read the article and I have a couple things to say. Most formally the idea that Disney and the corporations “gentrified them.”
First, I think it’s bullshit that they were being robbed of choice or creativity. If they wanted too, they could have told Disney “NO”. Cole and I did this hundreds of times and we ended up all right. The only reason they didn’t is because, like many of the people on that channel, I think they fell for the allure of fame. Granted, Cole and I had been acting our entire lives, so we saw it as a means to an end (money making) rather than an opportunity to become successful.
Nowadays artists just assume they have to do what they are told by their proprietors because there is a “rigid structure to achievement”. It is nothing more than a scheme to rob you of your individuality and capitalise the gain they acquire from such treachery. If you believe this, not only are you incredibly foolish, but you are a BAD ARTIST. Individuality is modernity’s most interesting trait regarding artwork and so so many talented individuals realize this. You do not have to become something else to be successful. Not only is it not too late for them to redefine themselves now, it was never too late.
What that article felt like was: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, still shame on you.”
My personal creed? “Fool me once, you’ll forever regret that decision.”