“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul. “ Goethe
These last days, with curses and catastrophes upon us, it was difficult not to despair. Each day brought its share of disaster. Sorrows came not single spies but in batallions… We had been scheduled to play at Le Toukouleur for Buyu’s birthday but I was not in a celebratory mood and I was seriously reconsidering the performance. Then by chance I discovered these verses by French resistance poet René Char. That is what life does: sends us fragments of hope serendipitously, so we can go on when we think we cannot.
“Make haste to transmit your share of wonder, of rebellion, of goodness
so you are not lagging behind life
the one denied you everyday by people and things
the one you obtain
here and there some fragments of
at the end of merciless battles…”
And I understood what celebrating Buyu’s birthday would mark. Another year. Another year of defying darkness, misery and fear, violence , treacheries, delusions. Another year. And what goodness and wonder and rebellion we had to share was our art. That is what we do as artists: we share our passion, our need to create beauty to respond to life’s cruelties, to let its mark be there on the edges of this harsh, violent world. Nothing is more powerful than beauty in a wicked world. It is the only thing that makes life tolerable. Dostoevsky said ‘Beauty will save the world’ and Russian poet Iosif Brodsky responded “Probably it is impossible to save the world already, but to save the separate man is always possible”. But the world consists of people, and if we each are able to reach just one?
“We are luminous, we human beings. We are alight in that we have been given a light through our creator, through a gift of nature…”
So we must share that light, combine it with other lights to dispel darkness and chaos. In a world filled with headlines of disasters and fear, we need to turn to art for a place to nourish the heart and soul. So last night, we played music and we recited poetry. And we filled that space with positive energy and love and light. Against darkness, in haste, we shared our art.
“i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)”
Michèle leads the audience in a “Happy Birthday” song to Buyu!
Buyu on saxophone
Lou on keyboards
Bobby on electric bass
Michael on drums
Michèle reciting poetry
Buyu charms some fans with a tune
Yolène, Buyu, Denise, Odell
Denise, Odell, Michèle and Jocelyne
A congratulatory hug from Harold
Ronzard and Schebania loved the poetry in créole
Jean Béliard has become a Toukouleur poetry-night regular
The extravagant beauty of Chude’s fan lit the room
Cristina, Michèle and Stéphanie share a moment
Merci to Mademoiselle Francesca who organizes these events
And the night ends with the beauty of Chude’s fan!