I have been sick for over two weeks. Pneumonia has been ruled out and a blood test to reveal whopping cough and a low white blood cell count does not come in until next week. All that we know for sure is this… I have gunk in my lungs… I am coughing a lot and have thrown my back out because of that. I have trouble breathing normally and I most likely have bronchitis and a viral chest infection. To say that I do not wish this on anyone, well… Ahmadinejad would be a good candidate…
But I have never been this sick before and it is, quite literally, hell.
Normally we strive to keep our medical records private but I guess I am putting it out into the universe in the hopes of getting some healing back… Two course of antibiotics have helped, but not cured this mess.
As we travel on the path to career success or happiness there are many things that try to steal our focus… try to lead us down a different, perhaps dangerous path. Some people call this force the Devil… Whatever it is, we must challenge it at every turn, fight it, stay focused and keep moving forward. Not all divergent paths are bad, but we must be diligent in understanding them and why we take one turn over the other.
I am trying to move on a path of enlightenment and happiness… much like The Beatles when they went to visit the Maharishi. Or George Harrison when he went to visit this man…
No, I am not packing up and moving to India… Nor am I changing religions, joining a cult or dropping out… I am simply striving to make my brain and my body a happier and healthier place to be, and thus make myself a better human being.
Ravi Shankar – The Very Best Of Ravi Shankar
It was between this one and an album called Call Of The Earth – 12 Meditations On The Sitar, but I chose this one partly because of the collaborations with famed violinist Yehudi Menuhin. Both are worthy introductions.
Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury was born on April 7, 1920! Same as you, Russ!!!
According to Wikipedia: “Shankar befriended Richard Bock, founder of World Pacific Records, on his first American tour and recorded most of his albums in the 1950s and 1960s for Bock’s label. The Byrds recorded at the same studio and heard Shankar’s music, which led them to incorporate some of its elements in theirs, introducing the genre to their friend George Harrison of The Beatles. Harrison became interested in Indian classical music, bought a sitar and used it to record the song “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”. This led to Indian music being used by other musicians and created the raga rock trend.”
“Harrison met Shankar in London in 1966 and visited India for six weeks to study sitar under Shankar in Srinagar. During the visit, a documentary film about Shankar named Raga was shot by Howard Worth, and released in 1971. Shankar’s association with Harrison greatly increased Shankar’s popularity and Ken Hunt of Allmusic would state that Shankar had become “the most famous Indian musician on the planet” by 1966.”
“In 1967, he performed at the Monterey Pop Festival and won a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance for West Meets East, a collaboration with Yehudi Menuhin. The same year, the Beatles won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band which included “Within You Without You” by Harrison, a song that was influenced by Indian classical music.”
Shankar is also the father of Norah Jones.
If you have never seen George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh from 1971 you simply must, as well as the 2002 memorial Concert for George where Anoushka Shankar performed several compositions by her father.
So that’s a little of the history… but the music… oh the music…
Martin Scorsese’s astounding documentary on Harrison, Living In The Material World, has been on a lot lately and I cannot stop watching it. George’s spiritual and musical quest was inspiring. It is inspiring. And I can hear what he heard… not as a musician, of course, but as a human… as a listener.
The sitar takes me to another place… I can meditate to it and I can be swept away by it… and obviously Shankar is the master. It is earthly and other worldly at the same time… and looking at the instrument itself is fascinating and a bit mind-blowing…
I send this out to you and the universe with only the hope of getting a little music and love and healing back.