We all know ‘love”….it is the most amazing force/quality. Love is warmth, caring and it is very powerful , love is more than good, love is the creative power, I believe behind creation large and small. This blog flows on nicely from my last blog which was all about not allowing the shadow demons that lurk in us all to have house room.
Love is what we could and should focus on in this crazy, troubled world of ours. It turns shadows into diamonds and creates equality and compassion. If we could all remember love then we would have no war, no discrimination, no social inequality and our world- which so needs it- would be wisely cared for.
So, “Love” needs house room. It is quite odd that we all know the feeling of love but yet do not actively or consciously use it in our lives. It is something we reserve for the precious few in our private circle- where we feel safe and yes, loved ! Funny that…..love is a magnet that creates more of the same quality, we could spread it a little more and it would grow and spread, giving benefit to whoever we met. Love is and could be like a giant sun that shines on everyone and just makes the world and each other more precious.
The ancient greeks had a word for the kind of love I am referring to: “Agape”. It is a selfless caring warmth that is not tainted by desire or attachments. It is the kind of love I think we should be encouraged to develop in schools across the world! This kind of love is a practice we can take into work and life , whatever we do.
Being the hippie that I probably am, I believe in love and it’s power and I try to practice loving kindness in my life in a variety of ways. Of course it is flawed and some people I find easy to love, and sometimes I have an instant connection with someone. Then it’s easy and these connections are to be cherished as it shows how easily love can flow. There are other people though where I have to work at it- very consciously. My teaching is a good medium for this as I meet all sorts of people of all ages and backgrounds. I consciously try and develop the warmth of agape love for each….
So, this next song is about love in all it’s wonderful expressions and how it creates and gives light.
What is Love?
Step into the light
Tis what we do when we love
So, step into the light
And all-around us it will shine.
Love is desire
To hold and entwine
You and me together
Sharing our journey to the end.
Love is your baby smile
Our hands held in childhood years
And returning, as you are set free
Love is a helping hand
To neighbour, friend and stranger
And to our world of flowers, fields and mountains
All around the world, all around the world
Love is the spirit of life
A ribbon of light from each being
Shining into infinity
A ribbon of light
Shining into infinity.
I wrote this quite some time ago, I think about the time I decided that I would try and “become” a songwriter in the outward professional sense. ( I mean in an outward way because I don’t think one really becomes a songwriter…it is just something that is part of one, that just spills out as an expression and reaction to life. That is how it is for me anyway….I songwrite almost unconsciously ….driving the car, making tea, when I am processing something tricky…it just all comes out in song….. a stream of song consciousness!)
It shows my roots in music, this song….It is done in the style of a medieval troubadour song, the troubadours sang songs that were often chivalric and had a story or meaning behind them. What could be of greater meaning in life than the quality of love? It seemed a fitting style to write it in and came naturally as a means of expression with my family background in early music. It is in C# minor. One would not think of a song about love as being a song fitting for a minor key but it has a contemplative quality to it that fits a minor key. ( I have noticed that only about four songs that I have written are in major keys! I think this is because of two things- I am naturally more drawn to minor keys as they have colour and story telling depth to them and ….as a Kodaly early years and primary aged music teacher I am surrounded by major keys and pentatonic material all day long and so minor keys give my brain a break!)
For accompaniment I chose an Indian harmonium as it has a drone quality to it that fits the early feel of the piece. Also, there was someone who plays it nearby and so it was also a purely practical choice too! Luckily this song was written when I was still working with Jerry the guitarist who has worked on a number of my songs and Jerry also knows about recording and gadgetry …( and also has some equipment) so he was able to record a version of this song.
Here it is:https://soundcloud.com/abigail-rooley-towle/what-is-love
The refrain is the central crux of the song so it’s form is A B A B instrumental break then A variant. The last verse is given slightly different treatment as it is the fulcrum and focal point to the song. It holds the most meaning and is the most transcendental verse touching on the wonder and mystery that is love.
This song has always gone down well in performance- everyone responds to love! It once even got a clap in a pub from some room down the corridor, away from where I was performing it !
I hope it makes you contemplate the marvel of love and how love is this precious strand of light and power that we could all harness to make our own and everyone else’s lives have more light, creativity, strength and kindness and yes, love .