Thursday, May 18, 2006

Life, Music, & Jesse McCartney

Continuing on the theme of music as flowers of the mind and soul, there is the Jesse McCartney hit "Get Your Shine On." It ranks right up there as one of my favorites.

Unfortunately, in order for music to reach the ears of a whole lot of people, it has to rise through the muck of the music industry, and I mean industry given the scale of its mass production and deal making behind closed doors. The whole "entertainment" industry can be slimey with the casting couch and the groopies and all that--hedonism at its most indulgent.

There have been many actors and musicians who have been chewed up and spit out by the system. Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, on down to Britney Spears. Takes an incredibly well grounded person to navigate the shark infested waters of Hollywood and the music scene.

So, when I listen to "Get Your Shine On" I am struck with a strange feeling of wanting to somehow protect and preserve whatever that spark is that Jesse has, a kind of fragile quality like the calm stillness of a glassy pond or the perfection of a cherry blossom that is all too fleeting and yet ever present.

It is a quality we all have, every one of us. In the dying words of Matsumoto in "The Last Samurai" speaking about the search for the perfect blossom, "they are all beautiful." It is the quality of pristine beauty, the expression of life in its most direct and unadulterated form. Jacques Cousteau once said he liked talking with children because they had not yet been obscured by experience.

It is this ineffable quality we all possess that needs our protection and preservation. The beauty within each of us resides in the core of our humanity like a seed needing only the water of kindness and the sunshine of love to bloom forth. Life is tough enough without the sole pursuit of profit and power turning existence into a war of all against all. Let us instead turn to each other and share the treasures in our hearts. Maybe then we can find our lost humanity and cherish rather than corrode and corrupt those who give voice and expression to what is most beautiful in life.