The perfect Age has come, when Man will be his own priest, and Men will not array themselves in special garb to advertise their piety.
Mankind will go within to find Self’s wonderment. – Mahatma
It is my humble opinion that each Artists is tasked with the mission of being a Revolutionary. To activate his or her potential and talents to positively transform society. In my brief lived experience as an Activist involved in Cultural and Arts sector in Southern Africa and through my world travels, I have met only a handful truly revolutionary Artists.
While I have also met and had conversations with luminaries such as Abdullah Ibrahim, Bheki Mseleku, Hugh Masekela, Ray Phiri and less well known Artists such as Gabi Ngcobo, Zamani Makhanya, Nhlanhla Chonco, Mfanafuthi Wake Mahlobo, Eugene Skeef, Nduduzo Makhathini, Eric Coolfire Hadebe, Zoe Masuku and Mphutlane Wa Bofelo to name just a few. it has been the Poets among them that have continued to inspire me holistically.
Many of the artists I have met have been Dreamers, people who see the world through a radically different kind of Light. They are ordinary yet extraordinary in their own right. In fact, some of them are reluctant to even label themselves or regard themselves as artists at all. In my book Rock ‘n Rule, a collection of writings gleaned from my notes and thoughts of the past 5 years, I attempted to speak about the significance of such people. But I am the first to admit that the book turned out to be something more political and more of a social commentary then what it was intended to me.
In these blog-posts, I aim to revisit some of those essays and even rewrite and complete some of the themes I had explored then. But it is a difficult exercise as I have hundreds of notes that are written in such a poetic way that I am not sure that readers would follow what I am saying, the feelings and thoughts I am attempting to express are often overwhelmingly transcendental. The primary point I am trying to raise though is that We Are All Potential Healers. We Are Artists and Dreamers and Doers. Even the ones who merely Think and Speak or Conceptualize ideas that never manifest at a given time, they matter and they must be regarded as contributes to the symphony of living. Our becoming.
Here is something I wrote on 02/04/2014, titled The Puzzle and The Living of Dreams:
“In writing out our dreams, fixing the points of conception, to cognition, sub-conscious and conscious causal action – I must be at one with the wild currents of trans-linear lights.
Many impressions and many versions of chaos seeking its perfect imperfection. We must do the seemingly impossible and be where we ought to be and know that whenever we are we are on time.
Activate our body, mind and energy towards the Telling.
If such dream-visions are to be told, We must be guided wisely in our Way of Telling. many of the same stories are being told. How each one tells the the same story is what separates the visionaries from the repetitive mimics.
If we say that the proverbial snake spoke and that there was a rope
or if we felt fearful, dread, lightness, transmigration or hope
let hope be wedded to the words and the imagery of the tale, the words’and let the Music play on
let the funk, the jazzy rhythmic blues
History is constructed from future past-times …
Every journey without was once a journey within
There Must be Substance once we Awake from the Dreaming
There must be Movement towards a Birthing of newness, harmonies and melodies
imbued with Love and Justice and Peace, the new birth must be harmonious with Nature … with the ancient future idea of Ma’at.*
Says the jazz man –
” I’m the unencumbered bird of my imagination, rising only to fall back toward concrete
each note a black flower / opening, mercifully opening into the unforgiving new day.” – Ai, Man with the Saxophone
And as Paul Berliner put it in Thinking in Jazz : “The language metaphors adopted by jazz artists to describe their conceptions convey more than the notion that, within the bounds of their unique language system, ‘musical ideas’ should have substance. They also suggest that, for improvisers, the patterns are not ends in themselves, but have ongoing implications for thought.”
The artists that have captured my imagination and inspired me to see and hear the world in a new way have come from Reggae music, jazz, electronic sounds such as Little Dragon, Radiohead, Hyatus Kayote and my brother Khaya’s experimentation with computer generated EDM and Jungle sounds. Mphutlane Wa Bofelo has also inspired me with his Radical Humanism, which in turn is inspired by his over-standing of Black Consciousness and the basic principles of Socialism. What makes an action artistic? What makes a thought original?
Perhaps these are the questions that one can better deal with through deep reflection and meditation, by journeying within …