How do I Get to The Center?
As I sought to find my way through this maize of spiritual understanding I realized it really does come down to understanding and discerning, to learning, to retracing my steps. How do I do that without creating confusion over the next three years? It will require discipline, as will by artistic path, while at the same time thinking outside the box.
The spiritual journey. I will study with the synagogue, attend Saturday Services, seek to understand the roots of the faith of my childhood, of my family, that Jesus and his followers lived. Simultaneously, I will on Sunday and during the week actively participate in Bible Study, Mass and activities in the Catholic Church that also hosts the organization I am proudly a member of, Sons and Daughters of Italy, as well as spiritual retreats for discernment. Understanding both views of Covenant of their view of Covenant etc..and Jesus, how he does or does not connect to the Pentateuch, to the Torah is important in this journey. It may very well be that at the end of the road I return fully to the Roman Catholic faith I know that this is spiritual journey is not to be taken lightly and out of respect for my mom, even my dad who passed away, my entire ancestry of which I know to be devoutly Catholic, very much Italian, I need to be sure of the spiritual path I take. I owe it to them and to myself to really go back to retrace the Catholic faith, teachings etc…, and also learn about Conservative Judaism, which I am drawn to for some reason I have not yet discerned. For any number of reasons I do feel these next three years will be a great journey of learning, of growing even more in my spiritual path and understanding. I do need to understand the faith I grew up with and the one I am drawn to well before making any decision that would be truly life changing and altering. I will be attending Mass, Bible Study and Retreats with and through Most Precious Blood Church in NYC and learning also about Conservative Judaism through Town and Village Temple. This will be an interesting three years for sure.
My artistic journey. Thematic is the word I keep getting when I meditate on this, thematic. I should work on putting together thematic albums, two per year. Why? Life is about themes and cycles isn’t it. Cycles begin and some cycles, chapters even after a long time then come to an end and you have to start from the start. I think for my audience and for me right now theme is where things are at. My next group of songs is of course Christmas and Advent themed. The next group, well we have Valentine and Spring coming up, so might go with that. I also realize live performing is important, so I am hoping to get out there and start doing regular gigs, invite people to see my do some performance poetry and some singing. I might just put together a Fourth of July show in NYC, as I have a few pieces that would fit the theme of Faith and Freedom. The arts is in a sense a spiritual journey as well because you have to go outside yourself, outside the box to grow artistically, and connect to the pieces you perform, put your heart on your sleeve and show it, the pain, the joy, the love all of it, even maybe the tears, which is not an easy thing to do. I still remember when I performed my I guess signature song, one of the first ones I wrote Sky Eyes, I wore my heart on my sleeve, every emotion was raw for all to see, the tears, all of it, same with the second piece and I brought the house down, had men and women giving me a standing ovation, following me to the ladies room to tell me how great that was. It is a bit scary after not having performed live in maybe 2o years maybe a bit more than that to do so again, but it is time. It is time to go outside the box, to get out there, heart on my sleeve, no matter how it goes, all out applause, some applause, doesn’t matter. What matters is I do it, I have the guts to get out there and be raw, even the tears if that’s what happens. Live performances, hopefully great collaborations with other artists and transformation in the process in positive ways for me and for all involved.
Shalom and Amen