Thursday, February 27, 2014

My Teacher Once Told Me A Story

My Teacher Once Told Me A Story

My teacher once told me a story 
of a great Saint,
who wanted to travel the world 
and talk about some spiritual matters
to all those who would listen. 

And when he reached a certain point
in his journey, he said to some of his companions: 

"My only concern is that we get a few to listen
to my words which will plant seeds for generations.
So I want you to employ twelve of the most beautiful dancers
who can travel with us as we tour the land." 

So the dancers were employed 
and from that moment on, traveled city to city with the Saint.
The dancers would begin the show, and a great crowd would gather,
then the saint would speak for just a few minutes,
then let the performers resume their art. 

My own teacher then stopped the story,
looked at me in a very sweet way and said, 

"Hafiz, don't forget the dancers in your poems.
Don't forget the music." 

          Someone who didn't forget the mellifluous sounds of life was Alice Herz Sommer, who survived the Holocaust by playing in a "Jew Orchestra" for the Nazis. She played over a 100 concert inside the concentration camp and she likens that experience, both for the performers and their imprisoned audience as being close to the divine. Alice is unequivocal in stating that music preserved her sanity and her life: "Put good things in your head, fill it up, because no one can take that away from you. People think we played for entertainment, but we played for moral support, for inspiration, for beauty, because the moment the first note of music starts it goes straight to your soul."

          The documentary, The Lady In Number 6, about her life and the lives of other Holocaust musicians is currently up for an Oscar.

          You can view the preview for The Lady In Number 6 here:

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