First blog, new website – Yay!!!!!!!!!!!! Website designed by Marla Bradley from northcountrywebsitedesign.com
This new site has a slight shift in focus from my last; less symbolic interp and more of general interest such as media reviews (mostly film and music) and counsel I harvest for living a life of heart and soul, stuff I feel worth passing on. I also like to spread the word on planetary healing meditations.
There’s lots of good music coming out these days, with inspiring lyrics, designed to uplift and support inner transformation and claiming a life of destiny. Most impressive find of the last few years, though, is singer-songwriter Vienna Teng’s album, Aims. Though there are a few songs (3?) using personal themes, such as an ode to New York City, Good Night New York, Aims deserves a designation I don’t give lightly; it’s an enlightenment album! The pop track is called Level Up, and the video aired on USA Today December 17, 2013:Here Teng asks us to step up to the plate, whatever that looks like for each of us, and drop the judgmental games of separation, “level up and love again”, as in loving life, loving self, and loving other.
One of the reasons I am such a huge fan of Teng’s work here is that she is a consummate poet, of the deepest sort. Though such high art often limits the audience, as some react with head scratching puzzlement, its rarity and grace are a thrill for someone who “gets it”, like myself. For imbedded in such poetry is great wisdom and light. Teng has knowledge of the multidimensional workings that overlay and underlie the obvious, and she’s inspired to communicate her knowing with lovely bardic offerings that will likely please even some who don’t understand her messages in full- yet. I mean, I’m sure I miss the interpretive mark sometimes, too. That’s a part of the symbolism game.
There is some social commentary in a number of the songs, and a few are flat out designated as such. Most Americans know what the album’s second track, In the 99, refers to, for example. In the song, Teng attempts a merger, portraying the successful Western business man as just another role to play:
Collide with faces veiled in paper
Reading line by line the pain there
But for the grace of code and capital
We’d cry out side by side
So why am I the one to praise?
Hymn of Acxiom I had to research; Acxiom is an international “marketing services and technology company”. In this lovely a capella hymn, Teng again plays the cosmic Fool/Trickster role. She outlines the role of marketing in contemporary culture, such as the collection of data used in targeted advertising, advertising that somehow allows us to feel that someone cares:
Leave your life open. you don’t have. you don’t have.
Leave your life open. You don’t have to hide.
Someone is gathering every crumb you drop, these
(Mindless decisions and) moments you long forgot.
Keep them all.
Teng’s cleverness in comparing religion/spirituality through the format of the hymn, and her words that witness to the feelings of love and connection we can experience in our shopping and on line interactions, is brilliant. Just in case we thought we were victims of the corporations, at the close of the song she gives voice to the marketing industry; “Is that wrong? Isn’t this what you want?” If we haven’t asked that question yet, we are indeed victims of the materialistic lifestyle that dominates America today, not that there is anything intrinsically WRONG with it. It’s just another human experiment. As Teng points out, it’s up to the individual to figure out their own priorities. Personal values and other choicemaking was never the responsibility of the corporations, or any other organization, for that matter.
From that perspective, there is no intrinsically wrong or right way when we’re talking about the promotion of and purchasing of goods and services. The marketplace is archetypally the symbol of opportunity and choice. It is nothing more than that. And in fact folks are waking up to their preferences in regards to how the marketing industry and social media are partnered in some unsavory ways, and choosing to get proactive about that. Etc. It plays out differently in every person’s life.
Enough for today. I’ve saved my favorites from the album for another day. Delve deeply and happily today into whatever pleases you! Peace out!