Free Motions of Praise and Ascend

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As published in the Japanese magazine BEEAST

“Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression.”
– Isaac Bashevis Singer

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I left Montreal as dawn was slowly taking the shape of the bright and magnificent colors of a day that quietly whispers its lights through the faded darkness of the remaining shades of a night, from purple, to blue and orange. This luminous canvas made of lively shades turns the horizon into a comforting velvet sky, another miracle of sorts, spectacular display of splendors so radiantly alive that you know how blessed you are to witness them all, to lose yourself into them and to wish you had enough faith to suspend time from moving, from changing so fast, hoping images would stand still, contemplative as I was, if only for a few seconds.

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I disappeared in the silence of this dazzling morning, moment of peace, made of high hopes and promises. Daybreak has always been the moment I like to leave home the most; it’s too early to grievingly wave goodbye and too late to selfishly keep the night alive. That’s why I find this moment very romantic, actually. You dwell into the fragile balance of innocence and uncertainty. Or maybe that’s why I have never been quite good with “au revoir”. I have never been into vows confessed in shadows and never been into fake secrets crafted with half mysteries to behold. Even if I have dropped pennies in fountains at times, faith doesn’t know right or wrong, but the heart does. That’s why it was good to leave without the sensation of leaving anyone behind. To simply go, to walk in the joyful gleam of a greater return physically refreshed and emotionally rejuvenated, breathing life for the wonder it is, for the beauties I now freely embrace, or at least, that I more often accept than I ever did before… 

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The idea of having time to rest, even if this has never been easily welcomed from me in the past, was more than necessary this time and I knew it more than anyone. To be honest, writing “Between Illness and Migration: Tokyo Sessions” took quite a lot out of me, probably more than I would ever fully understand or admit. But it did. And as much as I have never had such a great and fulfilling time in studio as when producing “Tokyo Sessions”, as much as I have never felt so close to artistically express what my heart and soul so profoundly longed for like I did through the “Tokyo Sessions” writing and recording time, as much as I have never been so close to the other band members as during the whole “Tokyo Sessions” process, facing old demons, letting go of past ghosts, surrendering to all the emotions and feelings we kept shattered deeply inside for so long. It was an incredibly intense odyssey of turbulences for me. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” said Maya Angelou. That’s why I know that regardless of how dreadfully painful it’s been at times, that whole “Between Illness and Migration” journey has been amazingly liberating for me.  

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Therefore, as totally exhausted as I was when I concluded the voyage, I now realize that I found way more to my life than the emotional chains I got freed from. As the American author Charles Bukowski wrote “If you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you’ve still got a soul left to lose.” To truly live, you need to die to yourself. At least, that’s how I felt the last few months, from our last concert in Japan, to the completion of the album ”Tokyo Sessions” that this concert inspired. I died from a song to another, uncompromisingly losing myself in the album’s spiritual essence, completely letting go, losing control to the uplifting and hollowing stream of its merciful immersion. Regardless of if I would ever be able to resurface or not, I was ready to give more than I knew I had. From one song to another, stripped down from what was or used to be, graced from everything I held onto so tightly, redeemed from the sorrow, the guilt and the grief I purposely let my hidden pain feed my soul with. 

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I found in “Tokyo Sessions” that emotional resurrection that lies within abandonment. Just as migration is the emancipating rebirth of self, that renaissance lives in every little sound, noise, whisper and word I died to and found life in. Just like the album cover art featuring blooming plums so magnificently captured by my dear sister Sakiko, which perfectly represents the living incarnation of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s saying about hope and salvation: “You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.” Again, it’s the perfect representation of what the pilgrimage of “Between Illness and Migration” means to me, now that it’s completed, with “Tokyo Sessions” as its definitive incarnation.

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In fact, that’s why “Tokyo Sessions” could be the last album I would ever write, and that’s why I would be serene if it was to be the case, the nature of death and rebirth, of migration and emancipation being perfectly incarnated by that peaceful perspective. It’s something way greater than what I might think of myself, way deeper than my introspective renditions, way more radiant than any of my epiphanic contemplations. And it’s seated in the plane, looking by the window and listening to the final mix of “Tokyo Sessions” that I’m writing those few words, heading for a moment of my own to an intimate place by the Caribbean seas, open to life after I died for what looks like a never-ending self-inflicted procession of misery. I can now hear an everlasting cheer emerging from old wounded eulogies and feel my spirit elevate through thanksgivings designed for shades to glow and shadows to shine.   

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Listen to the new song incarnation of “Empire of Sorrows” on “Tokyo Sessions”, and you will immediately sense the state of heart and soul I am talking about, as well as feel the way the ocean shines in free motions of praise and ascend: http://j.mp/TokyoSessionsINTL 

“The sound of water is worth more than all the poets’ words”*

– Octavio Paz

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Comments (1)

  • Melanie Laberge

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    Once again my dear Alex I am awestruck for as you posted your newest column I simply dropped everything and had to submerge myself in the deepest parts of your heart and soul and view for myself, confirm and tell you once more; you are beyond wonderful. Maybe I am crazy but I will never apologize for noticing immense beauty in someone. Actually I have no words to express how reading this made me feel. There are times where you can only live certain moments and you cannot describe them…but I will share with you that the ambiance of freedom is overly present in this tale and you should be proud that you are soaring ever higher than before for the light that lives in you at all times and during this very moment is blazing like the brightest of stars. We are miles away from each other and I can almost see your luminescence calling me towards the horizon. I cannot help but smile knowing that you are living a chapter, a part of your life that brings you endless happiness and liberty and you let go of the past shadows that you held on to so tightly. I am so proud of you. No one is more deserving to have a heart go through the most colorful nuances of feelings than you Alex.

    I am so glad that you are well rested. You took care of yourself. I know how difficult it is to stop but you managed to do it and that is what matters. I also tend to push myself past my own limits until my doctor puts me on a mandatory sick leave, but recently I learned how life is fragile and I need to know my own breaking point and respect myself not to surpass it.

    I do hope that you feel incredible now. Savor everything, capture all the love, beauty and magic around you let your beautiful, beautiful, beautiful heart and soul experience all the best wonders that comes with being alive. You are alive Alex, isn’t that the greatest of gifts? I have taught myself to say each morning: Today is a good day to be alive. And I think that breathing is the ultimate present.

    The newest album will be released in exactly 15 days 😉 I am counting down the days as you can see. Honestly, I love to hear how much growth it brought to you and the band in several ways just by going through the whole process of creating the album, the melodies and so on…it gave water to the parts of you that were extremely dehydrated and were screaming out for a drop of life and you fed them an ocean of vitality. Which is why you are glowing 🙂 Being alive is beautiful isn’t it? Keep on nourishing your lovely self and I pray that you do see what everyone else sees including me; you are something else…which is a compliment of course, you cannot be defined with words but for what lives in you radiates so much life…that yes it leaves me constantly in awe.

    Thank you so much for your column!!!! And for being exactly who you are. We are beyond blessed to have you in our lives.

    Reply

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