In my last post, I mentioned my definition of “music therapy”. I said that “any song that can bring out what I feel inside is special to me”. After posting, I listened to other songs and remembered another, more recently released song that strengthens my hope for our potential as a human race. Three years ago I purchased the album “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things” by Jason Mraz. I had heard a few of his songs on the radio before, but this was my chance to hear what else he had written. One song that resonated with me was entitled “Live High”; after hearing it once, I listened to it over and over again so that I could understand every nuance, note, and word.
I’ve always appreciated Jason Mraz’ harmonies and poetic lyrics. His sincerity and hope for the world also resonate with my feelings that the human race is more than what it is now. I feel like humans are creatures who have come a long way, but still have a long way to go to reach that full potential. Jason really believes that as well, and that feeling is summed up in the lyrics to “Live High”.
“I try to picture a girl…through a looking-glass…and see her as a carbon atom, see her eyes and stare back at them. See that girl as her own new world…though her home is on the surface, she is still a universe”. At first you think Jason is simply getting metaphysical with the story “Alice in Wonderland”, but I feel like he’s talking about how he greets a woman with an open mind and his undivided attention. I relate to this because it took a long time for me to clear my head of the self-centered fog of Asperger’s Syndrome so that I could learn how to listen and pay attention to people. It wasn’t easy, and it’s not even easy for “neuro-typical” people to do, but I continue to learn and grow.
“Glory God, oh God is peeking through the blinds. Are we all here standing naked, taking guesses at the actual date and time? Oh my, justifying reasons why is an absolutely insane resolution to live by”. I love how this refers to the morning sunlight as an “Eye of God” that shines on humanity and asks if people are actually trying to quantify the experience and put it into a box of narrow, limited thinking. The fact that humans spend so much time trying to put God and the Universe into their own “boxes” is the definition of insanity to Jason. This means that people will do something over and over again and expect a different result every time!
In all honesty, I’ve learned to take secondhand beliefs with a grain of salt. This was because I knew that I had to develop my own code of living in order to have a sense of personal freedom and identity. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll listen to what people have to say. If I happen to disagree or find myself incompatible with a person, there’s nothing wrong with it; I just learned something that didn’t work for me. When it comes to shifting my outlook, the chorus lifts my mood every time it repeats: “Live high, live mighty, live righteously. Takin’ it easy. Live high, live mighty, live righteously”.
“I try to picture the man to always have an open hand. See him as a giving tree, see him as matter; matter of fact he’s not a beast, no. No, not the devil either, always a good deed doer. Well, its laughter that we’re making after all”. To me, God, or “the Man” as some people say, is always around us. All of creation is the result of divine possibilities that are immeasurable. Saying that God is a primal entity and/or existing in opposition to a great evil entity is the human habit of keeping things separate or in the realm of opposites with no room in between. I’ve experienced too many things in life to live in a world of absolutes; they exist only because people give them power. I’ve learned to put my focus on the internal connection of all things and remember that when bad things happen, “this too, shall pass”.
We can try to define life through the filters of philosophies, religions, and systems, but it’s impossible to do so completely. These words remind me of that fact: “The call of the wild is still in order nationwide. In the order of the primates all our politics are too late. Oh my, the congregation in my mind is this assembly singing of gratitude and practicing their lovin’ for you”. Here I am reminded that humanity is more alike than different. I also find peace when I reconnect with my sense of gratitude and my awareness of being alive.
When Jason adds a bridge to the second repeat of the chorus, I feel a sense of empowerment. “Sing it out, and just take it easy and celebrate the malleable reality. Because nothing is ever as it seems, yeah this life is but a dream”. After years of soul-searching, I’ve learned that I’m not a victim of circumstance; I simply wasn’t aware of the fact that I could change the world by changing myself. Nothing is ever really certain in life, it’s ephemeral. There’s really no “reality”, only perception; it is through our choices that we create our realities.
In the last repeat of the chorus, Jason brings home his message with a heartfelt allusion to one of my favorite feel-good spirituals. “Live high, live mighty, live righteously…takin’ it easy. Live high, live mighty, live righteously, just takin’ it easy! Well I woke up this morning with my mind stayed on the spirit. Just takin’ it easy, livin’ high, live mighty, oh, live righteously…just take it easy”.
Every time I listen to this song, I’m brought back to a better mood and my outlook becomes more positive. I can’t imagine living without music like this; it has kept me strolling through life to my own rhythm. When I wrote this, I felt as though I was finally putting an important part of me out into the world. Have you ever felt so uplifted by a song that you felt like you could fly? That’s what “Live High” does to me; what songs have that power in your life?
Watch Jason Mraz sing “Live High” during his “Beautiful Mess” concert tour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iV1ul76uqw&list=UUwAMvTsUmdmMNttgOpS1Jjg&index=11