There is very much about the human experience and the environment we in live that is difficult to understand. As I plan for my spring garden, I consider that I can plant the seeds and if the soil is warm enough, moist enough, if the air and rains are gentle, and if the woodchuck will mind his manners, perhaps something will sprout. The seed may germinate and someday be abundant with the pollinators that are hardly seen in the foliage. All these little things happen but do I ever notice? Do we only see such things with our eyes? Can we hear the sprout break the soil? Can I smell the spring rains? I do not hear the woodchuck chewing on the tender greens. Or do I? I live by a few internal beliefs with a phrase borrowed from liturgy: Belief in things seen and unseen. There are so many things that are seen and known without conscious awareness. I cannot touch the rainbow, only, if I am looking carefully, can it be seen. Or can it be touched? Can we transcend our day to day experience and reveal what is unseen?
Music has been with humanity I daresay since we were formed. Musical instruments reflect the environment. The flute is the trill of the birds and part of a category of wind instruments. The strumming guitar is the rhythm of rain and one of the string instruments. I swear the look and sound of a harp reminds me of the gentlest of waterfalls cascading pure joy from luce stellare [starlight]. The drum is the percussion of thunder on earth. We can create music with our voice as the instrument. People generally enjoy song and find great comfort in listening to music. My mother used to say that when I was very young, I played over and over again the song, “Puff the Magic Dragon” made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary. I barely recall this now. Over the years, I fell in love with so many recording artists and have collections for a few in particular. This is part of being. The composer Beethoven once said, “Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.” Most of all, I would guess it is not to be explained why the music is loved, or in some cases, so absorbed into our psyche. This is part of the seen and unseen contemplation. I cannot explain it but it is at once the most intimate part of a person and the most public as well.
Quite a while ago now, I fell in love with the music of Il Volo. They came in to my life when I thought my love of music had faded. I credit Gianluca Ginoble, Ignazio Boschetto and Piero Barone with waking up that part of me I thought was lost. Many fans discuss their mutual love of Il Volo and struggle to find words to explain this. There are communities created around the trio to offer support, but more, a way to get closer to that which cannot be understood. We want to be a part of it all. We are a part of it all.
In an earlier article, I discussed the idea of a spirit animal around Piero Barone. The concept of identifying our character or essential nature to that of an animal is understood by some. This is an old belief and follows us from the first petroglyph drawings to the name of Il Volo. In English, this can be translated several ways including take flight or take wing. We fly by mechanical means, emulating what birds can do without having to engineer anything. Il Volo fly with their voices lifting us to that higher revelation of our selves. This is hard to be explain, it can best be felt as a presence in the body.
When I look at Gianluca, I see his beauty and masculinity. I often call him GG, which is an acronym for generally gorgeous. However, another part of me is awakened and several impressions come in pictorial form. I am trying to describe an intuitive impression in words. Mother’s and lovers may understand this language without the need for words. The emotion of love, perhaps the unconditional quality of love, if that can be achieved, transcends our senses into another realm of purpose.
When I Listen to GG sing, or glance at his image, I often get the impression of water. Without doubt, I see a brook, a cheerful brook in springtime rolling to the sea. The brook sings over the rocks and splashes cool water on the shores. At dawn, the birds bathe in the shallows and deer drink their fill. Something in his nature raises this image. He does love to tease and flirt with his fans on twitter. He can at times overflow with messages. He is always talking, thinking and sharing, always in motion with his thoughts. He is a sentimental, sensitive young man. The impression comes to me that as much as he loves to sing, at times, the situation overwhelms him and he is tumbling wild down the waterfall. When he finds the flow, he is smooth, sultry and a voice perhaps of silk trembling with emotion.
Mythology has legends of creatures called Undines. They are water spirits. They are beautiful, emotional, and graceful Nature Spirits. They live in streams and ponds and appear to be helpful creatures to humans. Water relates to emotions in humans. Perhaps I detect his emotional nature and in my mind it takes the shape of a brook. In this way, to understand him intuitively, I have this image, the unseen part of his nature is visible. Perhaps that is why we cannot explain the attraction? I would guess each person perceives something else. The intangible essence that draws me to him.
The other image which came quickly to mind was that of the honey bee. They are a fundamental part of our ecology and we are lost without their efforts. Honey bees are sun lovers and create the liquid sunshine of honey from their wanderings. They collect nectar and from the honey we create ambrosia. Meade is made of honey and perhaps one of our oldest alcoholic beverages. Honey bees are deliberate in their daily task and work diligently for the greater good of the hive. Gianluca is best known for his love of family first. There seems to be nothing more important in his life than his music, family and community of fans. He works for them and us but would chastise me to use this word. It is an instinct in him which he carries back to Montepagano, back to his hive. Busy as a bee, yes that old saying applies to GG. And, like Meade, he is slightly intoxicating to take in.
Foxfeather R. Ženková translates the bee symbolism as follows: “Communication, organization, abundance, productivity. Bee people tend to be industrious, family oriented, protective, and represent a strong sense of the feminine. Bee as a totem can teach us to refine our skills, simplify our lives, and is a great source of healing, purification, and renewal. Bee medicine is full of insight, seeing the parallels between nature and our lives, finding inspiration.”
GG has the most unusual color of eyes. In my poem, Sulla Giostra, I conjured up this image, Sometimes you are a sunset tender. Sometimes your eyes reflect the sea light of chestnut and jade. I also think of sunflowers, fields of barley and the sun splash of light on the sea. Back to the sea, the image of water persists for me. Honey bees are industrious, intelligent, directed and reserved. They go about their tasks with deliberation and avoid all unless provoked. Having been stung by a honey bee, I can say it was my fault for interfering with its task, but, the sting was gentle. GG strikes me as refined and intelligent. He is so curious, finding new ideas and sharing many a provocative thought and picture. His wide range of interests is remarkable. However, if he finds something absurd, he can be quite sharp and let the speaker know they strayed onto the wrong path.
Perhaps I have the image in mind from seeing him in performance. Despite his emotional nature, he grounds himself often in song. The first time I heard him sing “Maria”, in solo, he became so enmeshed in the melody and words, he fell to his knees at the last line “………like a prayer.” During his performance this year of “En Aranjuez con tu Amore”, the same sensation of being one with the song emerged on stage and he also fell to one knee, almost in genuflection to the power of the music in him. Bees above all, are grounded close to the earth. They are so intimate to our survival and livelihood that I wonder if that is what I am seeing. They are fundamentally flying but close to the ground. Does GG do the same in body and song? Does he unconsciously ground himself to bring down the moment of transcendence and thus not get lost in the revelation of the moment of oneness with his craft. In the words of the Taoist philosopher, Deng Ming-Dao, “all of us sail into the unknown nearly every day.” Yes, but the honey bee and GG instinctively find their way back to the hive, back to their essential selves at the end of the day.
These contemplations are an attempt to describe that which draws me to Il Volo, in their music, but also in recognition of them as precious, fragile people. Something in me has been restored through their voices. The heart is perhaps transcending active thought and revealing in me the old rhythm and rhyme of that which is instinctively understood. Essentially, we are a part of it all, in nature and spirit. We all rise from a seed, the germ of an idea, but where we go in life and what we grow into is unpredictable. No, I cannot yet touch the rainbow, but through the music of Il Volo, I can find great comfort in the belief of all that is seen and unseen. Just listen, there is nothing more need doing. Listen and fall in love again.