Tag Archives: soul stories

This Is Octavia

 

Recently I watched a Ted Talk given by Anne Lamott, a writer from British Columbia, Canada. Her presentation focused on the 12 truths she learned from life and writing. Compiling a list of things she “knew for sure” just prior to her 61st birthday, Anne describes self-care as a top priority in life, much to the dismay of naysayers who believe this behavior is selfish and narcissistic. For many women, self-care can be a difficult feat. For Anne, writing, singing and community work are the truths we express, our truths. Pieces of ourselves. The truths we bring to the world. I must say, I wholeheartedly agree.

Octavia is a group of women who love to sing.  A group I am happy to say, I am a part of.  We express though song, vibrations resonating in our souls. We bring heartfelt feeling to the works of Leonard Cohen in Anthem, Emily Lund in Dona Nobis Pacem and Gordon Lightfoot in Song for a Winter’s Night. We simply join together for a common purpose. Some are musicians and play the violin, piano, guitar or drums. A few are able to read music and others sing by ear. We are sopranos, altos and tenors. Our voices struggle to hit the high notes and the low notes. We reach consensus somewhere in between thanks to our conductor who swings her hips in the most graceful way as she leads us with gentle persuasion through each song. Four have battled or are currently seeking treatment for cancer. Others have suffered great losses and grieved. Some live with Alzheimer’s, disabilities or limitations. Everyone laughs. Everyone cries. We all sing with great joy because to sing is to release from the heart and soul sounds reminiscent of our home with the angels. The familiar language of peace and harmony we so long for in our relationships with others. Singing is common among all people’s. A beautiful language understood by everyone of all ages. Singing evokes emotions we tuck away in our heart space, a heart that breaks open with the gift of music. We are not striving for perfection. Rather, we seek harmonization. To achieve harmony is no small feat. Just ask anyone involved in conflict or strife. But, it is possible through song. Perhaps, we all just need to sing instead of using our words to resolve conflict. For in song, conflict ceases to exist.

This video is Octavia performing at our end of the year community concert. The song is Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem”. The following quote by Leonard on suffering and grief is taken from a 1992 interview published in One on One: The Imprint by Barbara Gowdy.

“The light [in the lines ‘There is a crack in everything’, /That’s how the light gets in’ from Anthem] is the capacity to reconcile your experience, your sorrow with everyday that dawns. It is that understanding, which is beyond significance or meaning, that allows you to live life and embrace the disasters and sorrows and joys that are our common lot. But it’s only with the recognition that there is a crack in everything. I think all other visions are doomed to irretrievable gloom. And whenever anyone else asks us to accept a perfect solution, that should immediately alert us to the flaws in that presentation.” – Leonard Cohen.

When Octavia was asked the question, “What song would you like to sing for this blog,’ the answer was unanimous. Anthem! This is our truth expressed through song. The truth that we are all women with cracks. But then again, that is how our light gets in. This is Octavia.

 

Special thanks to Vanessa for videotaping Octavia.

 

 

 

Jan’s Story

Jan grew up on a farm in rural Manitoba, Canada. Farm life was a special kind of freedom to discover and appreciate nature. She found great pleasure with her animals, nature hikes, music and agriculture. Welding and plasma cutting became he passion after learning to construct focal points for her garden. Jan taps into her rural roots, love of archeology and spirituality to create magical results. A belief that a rock or a tree has something else inside of them to be released, brings to light metal creations formed from interesting shapes with the same potential.

One of Jan’s favorite pieces is an early creation called “The Helix”. With no beginning master plan, a concept came together to create three gothic spirals. These spirals have a place for light, candle and casts an amazing shadow. Not knowing what a piece of metal might have been in its former life is an advantage to Jan. This allows for no preconceived notions thus allowing the metal to develop into a myriad of possibilities.

Jan’s studio is near Lockport, Manitoba, Canada. If you are interested in discussing Jan’s metal art, you can reach her at her email address dornianj@gmail.com or visit her website http://www.steelyourartaway.com. You might also like to check out #9 Rural Craftspeople of the Prairie Farm Report 2008-2009 season, to view her work.

The video below is Jan’s story. It is a story about the journey of her soul, soul purpose and the song her soul sings. I want to thank Jan for sharing her story and also  Mona for “the connection” and video assistance. The Universe truly works in wonderful ways.

 

Soul Stories

Soul Stories are the realization of an idea that has been sitting in my soul for some time now. I have been writing The Singing Soul Blog for just over 3 years and have enjoyed sharing my life work, life experiences and life journey with you. And I will continue to write blogs on this site going forward. My published book, The Singing Soul, is the culmination of the first 2 years of writing and is available for purchase through the McNally Robinson website. The link is at the top of this page under The Singing Soul Book. I am grateful to St. Francis who continues to inspire my writing and creative endeavours. This saint touches my soul along the spiritual path of my journey and has changed my life in beautiful ways.

Soul stories are the journeys of others who have found their way to hear and follow the calling of their own soul. They are stories of inspiration, hope and faith. They are stories of creativity and passion. They are the stories of you and me no matter where we live on this planet.

I hope you enjoy this latest creative adventure of mine. I have enjoyed getting to know these interesting everyday souls and the paths they travel.  Soul Stories will be posted along the way from time to time. The first video story will be posted Friday as my weekly blog.  Everything in life is in Divine Timing. The time is now. There is no time to waste on this beautiful journey we call life. Follow the calling of your soul.