I’m not exactly sure what triggered it but for the last few weeks I’ve been listening to Jazz while working on my PhD research.
I have a file of Louis Armstrong songs on my computer which I had never paid much attention to before. The day this love affair with Jazz started, I just woke up, dusted my Louis Armstrong file and played it without thinking. I haven’t been the same since.
There is just something about Jazz.
Some people love its swing, its vitality and spontaneity. Others are attracted to its solemn, deep and spiritual nature.
For me, it’s the rhythm.
It’s that essence that makes me unconsciously swing my body from side to side and tap my foot while at the same time, it squishes my insides; mellowing and lifting me; opening me up and moving my soul back and forth.
Jazz seduces everything in me to get into rhythm.
One of the elemental rules of Jazz is that the performer should interpret a tune in an individual way, never really playing a composition exactly the same way twice.
To me, that is the essence of rhythm. It’s different for everyone. Each one of us carries and brings our own individual pulse to any rhythm we hear. And life is no exception. It has rhythm too and we all create our own as we inhabit each step we take.
In her final show, Oprah Winfrey spoke about how we are each responsible for the energy we create for ourselves. In the same way, we are responsible for the rhythm we create for our lives. In fact, energy and rhythm are one and the same thing. Without energy – that personal vibration, aura and spirit you emanate from within you, you can have no rhythm.
Like Oprah has learned, witnessed and shown through the thousands of people she has interviewed, if you are not paying attention to the rhythm of your life, you set yourself up for disaster at one point or another.
Our life’s rhythm is largely determined by the nature of our thoughts. This is simply because what occupies our mind is eventually what we do and become. And rhythm is synonymous with movement, beat, steps, action, and behaviour. I know I keep talking about this but I am seeing it work in my own life so I want to imprint it on your minds because it really is true. It’s one of those principles that we just cannot afford to ignore.
In Jazz, the music is often viewed as the product of impartial creativity, interaction and collaboration, placing equal value on the contributions of the composer and performer.
Similarly, the final product of our lives will be an interaction and collaboration between God’s infinite grace and what we do.
We have to be creative. We have the awesome privilege and opportunity to make something beautiful out of our lives. To make music from within ourselves; the chance to knit our passions, dreams, goals and ideas together to create a rhythm that is unique and our very own to possess and to share with the world, as far as our world extends.
Listen to the rhythm of your life. It is speaking to you.
So, be attentive. Be Jazzy.