This composition is a meditation on arriving home. I’ve attempted to conjure in the music a state of arriving home to yourself, embracing and being embraced for being you– which for each person is nothing less than the divine manifestation of the physical and spiritual wholeness of the universe.
Coming home to oneself, as well as arriving at that physical and spiritual place of existence that engenders a deep “at home-ness” is in many ways the journey of life. This “home” is the places and the people and the animals that celebrate and love you no matter your failings, your shortcomings and bad decisions, your faults, your past transgressions. Places where you can re-discover your true name, and be your full self.
It is about internalizing inwardly while manifesting through outward actions that while we are within the universe, the universe is also contained within us, that we are all of the same body, the same self. It is also a thanksgiving prayer like Zen Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh says at mealtime,
“In this plate of food,
I see the entire universe
supporting my existence.”
As much as we require food and water for our bodies, we all long for and require for our soul such places of being at home within the wide universe. This is even more so in our culture with its self-destructive traps of what success is that has us asking the wrong kinds of questions, coupled with cultural values centered on outward appearances, veneers and facades. Are we not a society that has become a coliseum of harsh judgement where so many sitting in the cheap seats throw stones of insult onto those vulnerable souls down in the arena, who are often taking nearly intolerable risks to even be there? For many of us, being out in the world gives us a crushing need to retreat behind certain masks and to put on layers of armor in order to feel safe, ready to do battle against judgement or rejection, so that we can function in the “normal” world. To appear normal, and strong and tough, and “fine” when we are anything but “fine”.
I’m learning (with great helping guidance from folks like Brene´ Brown and Richard Rohr, and my own family members) that the very difficult, but crucial, work of life is about choosing courage over comfort to show up as your authentic self, while also giving every other soul the grace that they are doing the best that they can. And then, on top of that, deciding to work to create new paths of opportunity where others can access the ways and means of growing into their own full potentials, with a success not measured by society, but by their own hopes and dreams. This is work that creates the kinds of places and a culture where we all can arrive home. Is this not what the Universal Christ teaches us daily about recognizing that the kingdom/queendom of God is at hand, already here within us, and among us?
Speaking from experience, this is all very much easier said than done. The kind of freedom to come home to yourself is what the great and courageous luminary Maya Angelou refers to when she responded in 1973 to Bill Moyer’s question about the struggle for identity and freedom:
“You only are free when you realize you belong no place – you belong every place – no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great…One works at it, certainly. Being free is as difficult and as perpetual – or rather, fighting for one’s freedom, struggling towards being free, is like struggling to be a poet or a good Christian or a good Jew, or a good Muslim, or a good Zen Buddhist. You work all day long and achieve some kind of level of success by nightfall, go to sleep and wake up in the next morning with the job still to be done. So, you start all over again.”
Arrival, at home, where we are most at home, in our own hearts – with the freedom to belong to and celebrate our own true names – is often fleeting, temporary, a continual journey. The price is high. The reward is great.