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Live music moves me. Almost to a point of tears. When the waterworks flow then that means I’ve transcended beyond just hearing a song or a lyric but I’ve transitioned into conjoining God’s audible gift with my soul. I allow it to infuse my innermost parts and sooth everything that was burned in the raging fire of life’s woes. But to conjoin a message beyond the music moves me to a greater depth and changes my outlook in that moment of my life. Oprah calls moments like these “Aha!” moments. I don’t define them but they are rare and I am truly grateful when I am around to experience them.
I had an experience like this at the L’Renee Benefit Concert that was held this past Friday at The Charles H. Wright Museum. As if the opening acts of L.G., Elle, Gwenation and the wonderfully orchestrated (and professional, I might add) acts of L’Renee and company weren’t enough, the message she left us with at the end of the show was the bow on the gift of being “present” for the evening.
As L’Renee came out adorned in a white dress singing one of my favorite Michael Jackson hits, “I Can’t Help It”, there was a video playing onstage in the background which she later identified to us as a short film entitled “The Red Balloon” (originally Le Ballon Rouge, shot in Paris and written & directed by Albert Lamorisse, 1956). There was little-to-no dialogue in the film and it mainly portrayed a young boy being followed by one simple red balloon. Once he saw that it wasn’t going to let him be, he became passionate about the balloon and took it everywhere with him. He and the red balloon were inseparable until a group of jealous kids chased him down and stomped the balloon flat. But the film ends with balloons flying from all over Paris and overtaking the little boy until they lift him high and sail him over the entire city.
L’Renee tells the audience that her Red Balloon is music and that no matter what naysayers try to do to take it from her, she won’t stop thinking about her passion and knows that it will eventually sail her higher than anyone trying to stomp out her dreams. Then she posed a question to us- “what is your red balloon?” And that’s when the love swallowed me whole and I had to make a decision to face my fear and practice self-integrity regarding my own red balloon.
What have I allowed folks to stomp out of my life because they were jealous or because I felt unworthy? What balloon aka life mission am I trying to avoid but it continues to follow me around everyday, not ready to leave me or give up hope that I just may grasp onto it? I was taken aback because I did not expect to be overwhelmed with such life-changing emotion in my seat in the middle section of the second row. But at that moment, I knew my position in that seat went far beyond being a Distinguished Detroit spectator for the site, but it was a divine appointment to make significant changes in my life to align with the will of the Universe.
At the end of her creative plea of self-love, L’Renee asked for us to share with her what our “red balloons” were on sheets of paper and promised she would place them in a wishing well and think about each and every person who submitted. Then the show was over. But the message still lingers and prompted this post.
The message of doing what you were created to do is needed. We live in a microwave, cookie-cutter society that wants everything fast and identical. Originality and ingenuity is frowned upon while commercialism is mass-produced to meet the capitalist market values. But it is time to take back our own identities and be of service to others by staying in our lanes. When you spend more time working on building up yourself, you have less time to tear down others. When you do what you feel in your heart is right as opposed to doing what everyone else wants you to do, that is giving. You are of service when you act out your will and of disservice when you act out someone else’s or mimic what isn’t meant to be yours. And if they stomp out your balloon, keep your heart set on a flock of new ones to sail you to greater heights that you never imagined you could go!
Be the love you were made from. Be of service to yourself and people. Be original. Be Distinguished.
P.S.- My Red Balloon is writing and music!
P.S.S.- If you want to share what you Red Balloon is and join L’Renee’s Mailing List click here