Blog: “We Sing of Spring Sing Joy Spring … ”

Blog: “We Sing of Spring Sing Joy Spring … ”

May 2013

It was such a gorgeous day today, the first warm day since last fall, that I was inspired to write on my blog … the first since February.

I am amazed what has happened in the short 6 weeks since my previous post … but mostly I am relieved that it is spring! Every year at this time I do 2 things, watch the movie “Enchanted April” and listen to the Manhattan Transfer sing their arrangement of Clifford Brown’s tune, “Joy Spring.” Both are my favorites in their respective categories and both await me every April as a celebratory passage of winter.

Enchanted April is a beautiful story of the cleansing, healing power of Spring in a bucolic setting in Italy. Four war weary, exhausted women living in London just after the First World War decide to rent a villa in Italy for the month of April. What happens in that sun drenched villa draws light, life and love to each of them in different ways.

The lyrics to “Joy Spring” are long and complex, written by Jon Hendricks matching the solos of the original instrumental of saxophonist Harold Land and trumpeter Clifford Brown. I have posted it at the end of the blog. But basically it speaks of the well of joy that we each contain within us. That Source of spiritual joy, of deep remembering, laughter and love.

Typically spring is a time of cleaning out the garage, the closets or maybe the waistline. These are signs of renewal and rebirth. Thankfully we have these four seasons that mark shifting and changing in our yearly journey of life. It’s such a relief to clean out the heaviness of winter and open to the lightness of Spring. But after the clean-out we are left with space. Now what do we consciously begin to fill it with? Instead of refilling it with more of the same kind of stuff, is it possible to hold that well of emptiness and keep it open? Is it possible to keep the closet and garage clear, to keep the pounds off by engaging in healthier habits. Is it possible to keep the mind clear of the weight of debris from too much work, activity, and distractions and remain with the freeing feeling of lightness and ease, filling new space with time for compassion say, or more love?

This spring I am changing it up. It’s a new thing this spring.

I am currently in a Spring Renewal Cleanse, getting rid of old food/eating habits, cooking more often, partaking of spring greens and veggies, making smoothies. It’s been amazing to say the least. I would highly recommend it. You have to slow down, think about your emotional habits centered around food, and set aside some downtime to really embrace a cleanse. Really hard to do … yes … but so worth it. I feel so much clearer, lighter and very positive.

Next. New rule. No media in the morning until I’ve finished my daily practices. I’ve known this, and have attempted to enforce it in the past, but this imagined “need” to check email, the latest news, facebook, etc … really effects how my daily practicing unfolds. To go to the yoga room and then the harp room with all this stuff in my head already and then stuff it with more is ridiculous. Besides, it’s mostly negative news anyway which really stops the creative flow and keeps your head in the gutter. Enough! Done! No longer a need to “enforce” anything, I just quit.

Of course there are many things that can give your practice sessions a boost. Practice next to an open window, pull out that piece that has always called and inspired you and play it, get up super early and practice as the sun rises. Whatever…just shift it, stir it, wake it up, to a new way of approaching your practice.

Recently I was turned on to a website called “The Daily Love.” It comes in my email everyday now. I love, “Love!” Mastin Kipp writes some thoughts for the day, there’s a blog of course and many fantastic yogi’s write articles as well. It’s been a refreshing change and a welcome way to get focused. O.K., it’s a little trite sometimes, but it’s far more powerful and positive to start the day with a quick, loving reflection, than the NY Times. Most of the time it’s pretty hip. (With my new rule though, it has to wait until after the practice).

This spring, try moving your practice to a new level of consciousness and positive mental energy. Recognizing and getting rid of old winter habits is a great way to delve more deeply into your practice time, especially since time with your instrument is a precious commodity. Make it worth it. The world can wait until you’ve filled the space with music and your love of music.

I’ve decided to fill my newfound spaces with joy and love, and to just leave those empty spaces in the closets … empty. My practice has shifted, my body is shifting and my soul is filled with singing Joy Spring.

Sing it baby!

Always, Always Love, Kerstin

“Spring Renewal Cleanse” with Natalie Piet through Karma Yoga, Bloomfield Hills.

“Enchanted April” (1992) with Joan Plowright, Josie Lawrence, Miranda Richardson, Polly Walker, Alfred Molina, Jim Broadbent.

“Sing Joy Spring” John Hendricks/Clifford Brown from Vocalese, by the Manhattan Transfer.

We sing of spring
(Sing joy spring)
A rare and most mysterious spring
(This most occult thing)
Is buried deep in the soul
(It’s story never has been told)

The joy spring, the fountain of pleasure
Is deep inside you whether you’re diggin’ it or not
Once you’re aware of this spring
You’ll know that it’s the greatest
Treasure you’ve got
And furthermore
The joy spring, the bounteous treasure
Cannot be bartered away and never
Can be sold
Nothing can take it from you
It’s yours and yours alone to have
And to hold
And something more:
It never is lost to fire or theft
It’s always around
When trouble is gone the pleasure
Is left I’ve always found
It’s burglar-proof same as the treasure
Man lays up in heaven worth a
Price no one can measure
that says a lot
So joy spring this fountain of pleasure
That’s deep inside you let me inform
You in all truth *(to Coda second time)
Ponce de Leon sought this
When he was searchin’ for the fountain of youth

Ol’ Ponce de Leon laughed so much he
Never did find the magic fountain
But many people with a well-adjusted
Spirit they could hear it when y’told
‘em it was there tellin’ them was
Like tellin’ it on the mountain

It’s quite a lift havin’ the gift of
laughter I’m a man who knows in a
minute I can tell y’just exactly how the story goes
It involves a firm conviction in another
previous life givin’ your mind a chance to fly
Fly aroun’ the universe investigatin’ other
galaxies n’ certain other subtle
types o’life tryin’ t’dig it gettin’
pretty well-acquainted with a lot of
other strife an’ pretty much acquirin’
yourself plenty of education
pretty soon here comes earth birth
‘n then y’ready t’put it all t’work
but soon as you’re finished bein’ born
you start forgettin’ what you knew
‘Cause you’re another kinda you – a
reincarnation manifestation
of spirit in sensation

Y’really got that right
The average person isn’t bright
not so bright that they recall the fatal fall
down here t’ this earth
their minds disguise their death to spirit
life and call it birth
that’s their reason for forgetting and they
find it very upsetting when reminded
tell ‘em they’ve lived before
They’ll show y’ the nearest open door
Gotta have feelin’ while dealin’ with
walkers in their sleep
they can’t imagine somethin’ as deep

Here they come – here they come – there they are
Unimaginative and ignorant of falling from a star
Here they come – there they are – there they go
Life is over in a minute an’ they never dug
it in it or enjoy a minute of it
’cause they put too much above it
that was gross
somethin’ that was worth a couple bucks
at mos’

So there is the reason that the maker of man
included there in his plan
A certain fountain deep within’
where there was laughter, youth ‘n gold
for human beings t’have ‘n hold
‘n share the memory of where we’ve all been

Brothers called Grimm knew chances were slim’
Anybody would dig that the human soul
was Snow White
and the Seven Dwarfs were seven tempers
in man
whose digging out the gold completes
the plan
An Bacon was hip that Shakespeare
couldn’t read
and so he gave him all the rhymes
that have lasted through the years
and kept eternal truths alive through
several centuries
That’s how we know them now
they lasted ’cause they’re true

What was it from “MacBeth?”
“Life’s but a walking shadow
a player poor
that struts and frets upon the stage
and’s seen no more
A tale that truly has an idiotic ring
That’s full of lotsa sound and fury
signifying nothing …”

That’s right signifying nothing
I’ll repeat it! Nothing
Don’t forget it – Nothing
And that’s the reason for that spring
of joy
That the Father put inside of every
single girl and boy

Show time! Everyone’s on
let’s hit the stage
It’s show time everyone an’ proceed
to act your age

Whatever you’re frownin’ at is funny
enough f’laughin’
so you’re wastin’ all your humor on a frown
While you’re bringin’ your spirit down

You gotta book yourself a comic in your act
without some laughter life’s a maudlin
farce ‘n that’s a fact

Once you know about the spring you always can smile
It becomes your one expression
and you’re always wearin’ it like the
Buddhas do

(Repeat Intro to *)
Ponce de Leon sought this
When he was searchin’
for the fountain of youth
I say in truth he
sought a magical thing
For he was searchin’
for the joy spring

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