Dear Christian sisters and brothers. There's been so much going in my life that I nearly have stopped writing this blog though I'm both in Bloggers and BlogFrog. I'm so greatful that more and more people find my blog though I haven't been active for really long time. I've been really busy with my baccalaureates and I have to start preparing for my English baccalaureate this month or on December. Six months ago I also became a mum so I feel that I truly have had time almost for everything or everyone except myself. I want to be honest and say that I'm really exhausted and that may be another reason why you haven't heard from me for so long time. In my previous posts I talked much about my struggles and I really feel like those struggles are taking over me and they're just getting bigger and bigger. I think I've been also before in the same situation but now once again I feel like losing my belief in myself and maybe even in our Lord Jesus Christ. I still pray for God to help us but I'm getting really hopeless and disappointed, because from my ankle things are just getting worse. I keep asking: What if I fail my baccalaureates? What if I can't get the education that I want to? What if I'll remain jobless? What if my dreams won't become true? How am I supposed to help people when I need this much help myself?
The thing is that for a couple of months I have felt like losing connection to myself and God. The past weeks I have felt like I don't even know myself anymore. I've been also asking: What happened to that strong-willed dreamer that I've been the last 10 years? Am I becoming a cynical loser? At secondary school (few years ago) I even wrote an entire speech on that how you mustn't listen to doubtful voices from anyone on the journey of realizing your dreams. I wrote that you must keep believing and fighting no matter what because your patience shall be rewarded when it's time. I presented it in the school radio, playing in the end "When You Believe" by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. I didn't mention God in my speech but my speech took place only shortly after my heart had accepted Christ. And I have to say that becoming a Christian has been the happiest moment in my life yet. This speech means to me very much because until now dreams have meant to me the most in my life. Dreams make life worth of living I think. Actually my very own motto has been Without a dream there's no life. I think it's true because I think none of us would even live if our parents wouldn't have first dreamt of finding the ideal partner and then dreamt of having children with him or her. So dreams give us life, they form it little by little :). The speech was also an important moment to me, because as a shy and vulnerable person I had for the first time in my life enough courage to speak from my heart on the subject that I find important.
So the question is: Why should I give up? Have I worked so hard for the last 10 years for nothing? The old good sister Mary somewhere deep inside of me says:" No, your effort shall be rewarded. Just stay positive and keep praying, wishing, dreaming and believing."
So after all I still seem to have connection to myself and faith in God though I'm going through hard times :). My secret is music ;). I realized that if I lose myself, the person that I have became thanks to God, I find my positive attitude, my values and beliefs once I open my mp3. It's trange how you can find yourself from music and relate to songs of some singer-songwriter who lives on the other side of the world and who you have never met. To me India.Arie is an artist like that but I do have many others too :). From her music I find belief in myself and God and I find my values, including anti-racism because you may know her new album Open Door made together with an Israeli singer-songwriter Idan Raichel will be published on spring 2012 and it will carry that message.
Acoustic Soul was India.Arie's debut album published in 2001. Until 2007 she was signed to the legendary Motown but she's currently signed to SoulBird of Universal Republic. Unfortunately I don't own this great album yet but I've been listening to it on Youtube. The album opens with a psychedelic guitar solo and continues with the first actual song, Video, which was her first single declaring self-respect and accepting and loving yourself though you're not "an average girl from the video". She wants to say that inner beauty is the most important and we mustn't be turned down by media's narrow beauty perceptions. You can be beautiful without having model's measures and expensive clothes. This funny, care-free song is one of my favourites from the album. Promises is a jamming guitar r&b song and one of the absolute gems of the album. This song speaks to me, because my boyfriend promises good things to be happened so often but then he's never good as his word. I think the song tells about a similar incident. India.Arie's self-written lyrics are absolutely deep and spiritual. She talks much about God but I wouldn't call her work actual gospel. Her another single from the album, "Brown Skin", is another declaration of self-respect and also admiring your man for his colour. It's pride of your ethnicity and loving yourself with the features that God has given you. It's simply beauty and confidence inside a soulful ballad. The album continues with a soulful, powerful song "Strength, Courage and Wisdom" which has helped me a lot with self-confidence and faith.
India.Arie has a special, a little bit of flagrant voice which is still soft and feminine. I think "Nature" sounds maybe the most of all songs in the album a mainstream soul and r&b song. Its soft beats are rather usual but then the high piano notes bring something sensitive, a bit sad and vulnerable to the song. She uses nature's changing seasons as a metaphor of her relationship which seems to be uncertain if it continues or not. Also this song is touching me. "Back to the Middle" is once again a jamming guitar soul song telling about confidence and staying in focus. Especially this song has helped these days when it's been difficult to me to stay focused and being in connection with myself and remembering the heart of everything. "Ready for Love" is a dramatic, sensitive ballad with guitar, strings and piano telling about that how you're ready to be loved by a man of your dreams but he hasn't appeared yet. This song touches me deeply, because she talks about an artistic, spiritual man who follows his heart. I think the album is full of jamming, good beats, deep thoughts and sensitive ballads. India.Arie is absolutely a special artist who's under-rated in the mainstream radio, because of her spirituality and unusual vocals. To me this is pure art and HEART.
Grade: 10. I gave the highest grade because to me this is musically and artistically perfect.
Voyage to India
India.Arie's second album Voyage to India is even more psychedelic than its predecessor and she received her first of four Grammy Awards from it (The Best R&B Album). Album's few introductions "Growth", "Healing" and "Gratitude" tell about facing the life the way it is and following the guiding spirit of God. "Little Things" is a cute and sweet single from the album flavoured with children's laugh and soft r&b beats. It tells about appreciating the small joys in life. "Talk to Her" is a psychedelic song for a man asking him to speak respectfully for his woman. "Slow Down" is one of the gems of the album with tasty r&b beats telling about that how we shouldn't rush to the future but live in this moment. "The Truth" is a beautiful, soft ballad talking about finding your soul-mate. "Beautiful Surprise" is a wonderful guitar ballad telling also about finding the right man, the man of your dreams that you prayed for. I think a jamming song "Get It Together" touches me the most in the album because it tells about that how your friends and kin hurt you most easily and you've been hurt for many years because of those relationships. It tells about that how you should let their past lies be past and heal your body and soul. I've been through this what the song tells about. I think in this album India's voice and music all in all are much softer than in its predecessor and it sounds very mainstream r&b. I own this album and I listen to it always when I have stress or sleeping difficulties. It truly helps me to fall asleep and relax. "Headed in the right direction" is another gem of the album with groovy guitar and soft r&b beats. This song reminds of that when I have love and faith in God I'm headed in the right direction and I can't go wrong. "Can I Walk With You" is once again a soft, joyful, soulful single telling about finding the one for you and how you want to marry him. "The One" continues with the same theme and it's one of the gems with strong r&b beats. "Complicated Melody" is a playful description of boyfriend, played completely by guitar. "Good Man" is the saddest song from the album that makes my heart ache because it tells about that how parents of a child broke up. The album ends with a silent, peaceful declaration "God Is Real" giving reasons for its declaration.
Grade: 8,5. The album is good but artistically it's less brave than its predecessor. The album is so tame that it's almost boring but it's perfect for relaxation and meditation.