Thursday, July 15, 2010

Inspiration: Across the Universe

At my desk this morning, I sip cold coffee and watch one of my favorite videos: Fiona Apple's cover of the Beatles song "Across the Universe." The arm hair-raising gray scale images of riot (see below) always tug and tear my heart.

So many questions surface as I watch: Why are these men so suddenly invasive and angry? Why are they infesting and destroying a harmless and previously empty space? Is the violence around our protagonist inevitable or preventable? Is she immune to their behavior or can it hurt her? Is she an innocent bystander or a willingly passive participant? Why don't the men notice her projected inner peace? Why doesn't her singing calm them down? Can beautiful music transcend space, time and corruption? Can art catalyze change or does it only distract us from directly interacting with a hostile world?

"Victory to the God Divine Om" is one translation of the compelling Sanskrit chant John Lennon wrote into the chorus. Sweetly sung here, I cannot tell if "Jai Guru Deva Om" is stubbornness or delusion. Still, I find myself singing along. Casting the spell whether it lands or not. Evoking gratitude and love in the face of chaos. Music helps me cope with the steady stream of awful news in this gravity world. I'm not yet ready to believe that "nothing's gonna change" it. But I'll accept melodic consolations.

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