Anne Smith :: Blog for February 2018


February 14, 2018

Hello, Everybody-

I'm sitting in my little cottage, listening to the plaintive song of a wild parrot.
(None of the parrot species we see in the wild here are actually native to Florida. The Monk Parakeet and the Red-crowned Amazon are two of the most common exotics seen in the state. Monk Parakeets are friendly pets, but once they escape to the wild they avoid humans in favor of traveling in large boisterous flocks). Photo courtesy of http://www.parrotshop.org/wild-parrots-in-florida-are-a-common-sight/

I imagine that parrot is singing "Little darlin', it's been a long cold lonely winter". I hear you!

It has been unusually cold in South Florida this year, as well as in many parts of the country. I'm not complaining from my perch here. I visited my family in upstate New York during January! I guess I might be like one of these parrots; friendly but not native to Florida, having flown down here to escape into the warm, wild tropics. It worked for awhile. But it's really hard to avoid boisterous humans in South Florida- or anywhere!

From time to time I have cause to reflect on my need for isolation versus my need for the energy of groups. I think a lot of artists, writers, and other such Creatives face a similar dilemma. How do we keep our inner world intact? How do we protect our imaginations and freedoms from being dissipated by the energy it takes to survive among our fellow man, on a practical daily basis? How do we keep our hearts from breaking one million times a day when the daily news reports ever increasing incidences of depravity and discord in our country? I react by retreating into seclusion. Lately, I've been overdoing it.

I've come so close to having a personal faith-wreck- that bitter, angry, disillusioned feeling that derails me and causes me to say horrible things about an event, to make a big thick blanket statement to smother the whole thing, so I won't have to look at the scene or admit any part in contributing to it. I have the uneasy feeling that America is careening out of control, headed for a faith-wreck, losing faith in herself, in the things that truly make us great.

Ironic, isn't it, that like so many countries, America is always referred to in the feminine sense. "Stand beside her, and guide her", "Lady Liberty", "America, our Motherland". Yet, we are a country whose operating systems are male dominated. And there are certainly hundreds of justifiable reasons to be enraged at quite a few men these days, real bad guys, whose illegal, abusive, demeaning, and unacceptable behaviors have come to light in media revelations that have shaken all of us to our cores. What if Americo could be identified as male? Would men in power be more willing to improve her conditions? While I see this as a horribly difficult time, I would also encourage the viewpoint that it is the demolition phase and we are shifting toward reconstruction to balance the masculine and feminine powers in America, and in our world.

I think this upheaval may leave a lot of men and women feeling isolated, angry and confused about their own identity. I think that there are going to be more shocks and aftershocks before balance is achieved in America. I think there are plenty of good guys out there, and "I Think It's Real Important That The Good Guys Win". Yep. That's the refrain of my latest song, "The Good Guys" (of course, implicit in the phrase is Good Gaias as well!). The only way I know how to respond to atrocity is through my music and art.

I've decided to imagine this refrain as a mantra for America, a phrase that anyone can sing and be part of. It's not about winning or revenge; it's a movement to do what's right and good, in Washington and Hollywood, in schools, in churches, in athletic organizations, in our communities and in our local and federal governments. It's about working cooperatively at every level, to restore America's faith in herself.

I'll be recording the song in March, with Freddie Gasparini and Michael Wollman, as well as some guest musicians, and making a subsequent music video set in Cinque Terre Restaurant in Davie, Florida, where I perform regularly. My intention is to create an online initiative for hundreds of musicians to record it at their gigs, and post their versions to my webpage. It's an exciting project for which I will be posting an online site soon, to raise the capital to produce it. I am thanking you in advance for your help.

Oh, look! That wild, colorful flock of boisterous parrots is rising in one gorgeous group toward the free and open sky, diving, swooping and conversing amongst each other. Sometimes one takes the lead, then drops back into the flock as another surges ahead. Sometimes one or two stay behind in a starfruit tree to sing their own song, before rejoining their flock. No one gets in the way of the other as they angle together toward their destination with such instinct and purpose. I get it. I need you as much as you need me.

That reminds me: I'm going to a hockey game later! Hang in there, everybody. We've got to keep each other motivated and positive. It's okay to be alone but find your balance in whatever flock you may choose, and may you feel that freedom of the open sky around you as you fly-alone or together, but never apart.

Until Next Time x0x0x0x0
Annie




Contact Anne Smith at: annesmith.smith10@gmail.com