I’ve had an epiphanette–a small epiphany, in other words . I’ve finally discovered what music my Muse likes. Writers are frequently asked “What music do you listen to while you’re writing?” Or sometimes we’re just advised that we should be writing to music. Well, I’ve never had any special music that works for me. I’ve certainly thought about it, and tried different styles, but nothing ever seemed right. But now I know the answer. Now I know what that sound is that will feed my Muse.
Reggae. Yep. Who would have thought? I don’t know why it is. Maybe the syncopation reflects my slightly off-beat thought processes (ya think?) But isn’t it fun? I love it. I’ve always liked reggae, but only now have I discovered how it nurtures my creative urge. So what am I listening to now? I hear you ask. Well, Bob Marley would be a good guess. There are others, of course–plenty of variety.
It started me thinking about the almost-visceral response I have to reggae, and wondering about related things. The Rastafarian side of it, for instance. I know hardly anything about Rastas, so I’ve been doing a bit of poking around on the internet to learn more. I find it fascinating. I’m not religious, so I’m not tempted by by that aspect of it, but it is interesting. And as plausible as any other religion, I suppose. In case you don’t recall, the Rastafarian movement, or Rasta, is a spiritual movement which started up in about the 1930s. It began in Jamaica, a country with a predominantly Christian culture where 98% of the people were the black descendants of slaves. Most Rastas worship Haile Selassie I, the former and final Emperor of Ethiopia (ruled 1930–1974), as God incarnate, the Second Advent, or the reincarnation of Jesus. Rastafari embrace the doctrine that Haile Selassie I is another incarnation of the Christian God, whom they call Jah. Most see Haile Selassie I as Jah or Jah Rastafari, as the second coming of Jesus Christ, but others see him as simply God’s chosen king on earth.
Jah is seen as being in the form of the Holy Trinity, that is, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Rastas say that Jah, in the form of the Holy Spirit (incarnate), lives within the human, and for this reason they often refer to themselves as “I and I”. “I and I” is used instead of “We”, and is used in this way to emphasize the equality between all people, in the belief that the Holy Spirit within all people makes them essentially one and the same.
To the Rasta, the Rastafari Movement is more of an ideology than a religion. Many Rastas say that it is not a “religion” at all, but a “way of life” and encourage one another to find faith and inspiration within themselves.
For Rastas, smoking cannabis, is a spiritual act, often accompanied by Bible study; they consider it a sacrament that cleans the body and mind, heals the soul, exalts the consciousness, facilitates peacefulness, brings pleasure, and brings them closer to Jah. They often burn the herb when in need of insight from Jah. Given that cannabis remains illegal in Jamaica, as well as most of the rest of the world, this has been the source of friction between Rastas and modern societies.** The burning of the herb is often said to be essential, “For it will sting in the hearts of those that promote and perform evil and wrongs.” (Wikiedia)
But getting bak to the Reggae, I’m not going to write a report on reggae here. I’m just gonna share some with you. How friendly is that!?
And, of course, there are the dreadlocks. Would you believe there is a whole industry out there based around dreadlocks? And YouTube offers a variety of instructional videos on how-to create your own dreads. As for me, I think I may just have to settle for a dread wig for the occasional mood-lifter… I like to wear wigs, just for fun, and why not a dreadlock wig? Something to wear when I want to encourage my Muse that little bit more…
Okay. That’s it from me. Time to skank off and do something useful. MM