Musical Education in The Cave of Hope

I walked down the rocky ground about to enter the Cave of Hope. I glanced to my right and noticed a man pacing, smoking a strong cigar. He had long silver hair and wore almost all black. I noticed that near him leaning against the wall was a black guitar case and a helmet upside down.

 

I stared at his guitar determined to walk right on by yet something inside of me kept telling me to go ask him to play. I really wanted to, I think, but I wanted to keep on walking. Out of a leap of faith, I decided to walk up and ask him to play. He cheerfully agreed to play for me, put out his cigarette, sat and pulled out his guitar.

 

As he placed it on his lap I was almost in awe at its beauty. Its wooden surface shined like caramel, it’s opening shined like silver. But the song he played truly took my breath away. I don’t remember what he sang but I remember it held me for the time he sang it. I think I wanted to dance, but I didn’t. I wanted people to stop and listen, but they didn’t. I just sat there and listened to his guitar.

 

When he finished playing we began to talk about music.  He told me that there was just something about music that connected us all. He said that it was the highest form of communication. I listened. At first, I thought it was all crazy talk! What is he talking about? But I listened.

 

He told me that everyone participated in making music that one does not need to know how to sing or play an instrument to do so. He didn’t really want to play until I asked him to and the more he noticed I was paying attention, the more he played.

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Angela Davis An Autobiography: Part One “Nets”

I’ve decided to read Angela Davis An Autobiography. Before this point, I knew nothing about this woman except that she is a Communist. Actually, I can’t say out of my 18 years of schooling and my strange unreal marriage to Wikipedia that I really know what Communism is. However, I might save that for another entry.

I just finished reading part one “Nets”. The section began with “The net will be torn by the horn of a leaping calf…” I can’t say that I know what this means right now but I will continue with this review.

A theme that stood out in this section was “you’re never alone”. No one is ever alone in a movement no matter where you are. Davis talked about how she avoided being arrested for murder, kidnapping and conspiracy relating to the Marin County Courthouse raid. Several supporters and partners aided her. One partner named Helen (her and a man named Tim had a history of radical political involvement) helped Davis by providing a wig and helping her escape to a home in the West Adams area in Los Angeles. There, Davis was provided shelter by a couple named Hattie and John. According to Davis “They simply took me in, accepted me — totally and with affection and devotion ordinarily reserved for family.” After a few days Hattie escorted Davis to Chicago where her friend David Poindexter lived. From there Davis and Poindexter traveled to New York then Miami.

She was eventually arrested at a motel along with Piondexter. She was sent to the House of Detention in New York. It is noticed from the beginning of the book that she wasn’t alone while she was trying to escape arrest. She had people to aid her up until the arrest. Even after she went to jail and awaited trail she had support from her lawyers, Communist Party members, family, friend and other women in the jail.

Now this support came from people visiting as often as they can, people chanting “Free Angela Davis” outside her window, women who were willing to learn about the movement and cheer with and for her. Even certain officers helped her by sneaking the books she wanted into her corridor and for the most part making her stay as easy as they could.

Now, of course, we look at many great leaders in the civil rights movements (and other movements as well) but we should not forget to remember the people and circumstances that helped them make large impacts. This theme of “never being alone” has seemed to follow me a lot since the end of my time in school. I see if there is anything we should glean from the past is the ability to work together for the common good and to make sure others advance because it will make a positive impact on future generations.

Now it’s our turn to make an impact on future generations, but how? We have the tools to rip through the “nets” of our lives. We just need to “leap” to tear it down.

Next time I will review “Part Two Rocks”.