Spirit Matters: Our voices leave a lasting legacy

Jerrilyn Zavada Novak

In today’s file of finding something cool while looking for something else, I present to you a video remake and remodel of Bob Marley’s “Natural Mystic.”

As part their Song Around the World movement, Playing for Change filmed musicians from various parts of the planet playing Marley’s classic reggae song. “Just a Little Bit,” written and performed by Paula Fuga was added as a medley “to take the music from minor key to the major key – from the darkness to the light.”

The result was “Natural Mystic/Just a Little Bit” featuring Jack Johnson, who happens to be one of my favorite artists too. The video is available on YouTube.

While the video itself shines a light on world hunger, I couldn’t help but experience it from a different angle the first time I watched and listened.

Seeing each of these performers playing against the backdrop of their home lands, I thought to myself how music is all around us, in the air we breathe. And this video illustrates how the musicians used their talents to bring Marley’s music into being for the rest of us to hear, until that music returned to the Silence from which it came.

It is like that with us, too, and this is one of the reasons I find the spiritual practice of silence so deeply enriching and transformative.

Silence has the ability to amplify our unique, one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-repeated voices. And our voices are icons of our souls. They tell others who we are, and what we represent.

Whatever we say, whatever we speak into being matters. Every time we talk, we are co-creators with the One who gave us the ability to speak in the first place. In a real, yet mysterious way, our words, our voices matter.

This reality leaves us with a great responsibility in using our voices with intentionality.

What do our voices and how we use them say about us, and more importantly, what do they say about the Divine Intelligence that gave them to us?

Do we use our voices in such a way that brings honor to the Wisdom and Love and Goodness from which they came? Or not?

Do the words we allow our voices to speak build, bend or break others that were formed from the same Wisdom and Love and Goodness from which we were formed?

So many of us go about our days mindlessly, recklessly and wastefully using our precious voices for drivel. We gossip, curse, criticize, complain, slander.

We wreck the space around us.

And when we use our voices like this, the words we have chosen return to the Silence, where they are remembered, where they shade and darken our spirits and our souls forever.

It does not have to be this way.

We can use our voices mindfully, to speak beauty into the world.

Our voices and the words we choose can bring vibrance and color to a world so desperately in need of it, and to our spirits and souls too.

Our voices, can change the world.

One word at a time.

SPIRIT MATTERS is a weekly column that examines experiences common to the human spirit. Contact Jerrilyn Zavada Novak at jzblue33@yahoo.com to share how you engage your spirit in your life and community.