Or "What the Maori Chant Taught me", if we trust Google translate, which obviously sometimes I do...
Yesterday I was looking for the source of the quote Turn your face toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you and all I found was that it was a Maori proverb. Moving on to other things, I forgot all about it until today I had the strong urge to search for some Maori traditional chanting videos.
I have to admit, I have a deep fascination, passion, love, whatever you want to name it, for sounds and languages. I try to listen at least once a week to a foreign (to me) language interview. There is so much beauty in that "chaos". I am always thinking about what if there is a universal language, or what if one day I will suddenly start understanding Armenian or Russian or Japanese or or...(I do have a pentecostal spirit no!?). I think the mind has the ability to process what he is receiving and even if it does not make any sense, it sure does make an impact of some sort... that is a conviction I have. I might not be able to prove it but you can try it and let me know.
So today I looked up one traditional Maori song and ow... These chants deeply moved me.
I will try to describe it a little bit without slaughtering it.
There is one lead person who shouts some lines and rhythmically people repeat after him or answer him (I assume). There is as well beautiful clapping and percussions of some sort going on very very precisely. You can feel the discipline of such a tribe. You can feel their unity. You can sense it in your heart, every beat, every word, every sound being taken so seriously... and this marked me...
One little side note: I had the other day a wonderful talk with a beautiful amazing lady about community.
Hearing the Maori people sing could not but remind me of the blessing of community. It made me realise in a way I cannot explain in words that God did indeed create people to live in communities (and hearing me saying this, is one huge miracle!). There is so much harmony in their chanting that you cannot help think that the world was created to be like this, a group of people functioning together to bring beauty, to bring Beauty (copying Augustine, Oh Beauty ancient oh Beauty so new!)
Pardon me if I ramble a little bit still... There is something else striking in this community of chanters... They follow perfectly their leader... There is perfect obedience to rhythm of the group... No one goes starting a new song alone or shouts above the others. Now, I am not a partisan of silly flock following but there is something striking in humble obedience... I am sure these people where free and confident and at some point they may have requested this or that song, but while the song was going on, they all followed, they all united.
I am sure I will be thinking about these beautiful Maori people for quite some time still... but for now, I will thank God for my little (beyond) lovely community and I will obey my elders... and perhaps to the world around us, we can bring a song from above, a beautiful witness to the ever old, ever new Beauty!
ps. I wish there was a gold font colour...