Nothing But the Truth

Posted by on Jun 10 2012 | Songtaneous

When a woman of the Ubuntu African tribe knows she is pregnant, she goes to the jungle with other women, and together they pray and meditate until you get to “The song of the child. “When a child is born, the community gets together and they sing the child’s song. When the child begins his education, people get together and he sings his song. When they become an adult, they get together again and sing it. When it comes to your wedding, the person hears his song. Finally, when their soul is going from this world, family and friends are approaching and, like his birth, sing their song to accompany it in the “journey”.

In the Ubuntu tribe, there is another occasion when men sing the song. If at some point the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, they take him to the center of town and the people of the community form a circle around her. Then they sing “your song.” The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment, but is the love and memory of his true identity. When we recognize our own song, we have no desire or need to hurt anyone.

Your friends know “your song.” And sing when you forget it. Those who love you can not be fooled by mistakes you have committed, or dark images you show to others. They remember your beauty as you feel ugly, your total when you’re broke, your innocence when you feel guilty and your purpose when you’re confused.” – Tolba Phanem, African poet

I received the story above through facebook.

I was captivated. The message is compelling, the ideas powerful. In my heart of hearts, I believe this is how songs came to be and have been used for eons.

Despite how compelling I found it, I debated sending it to you as a blog post.

I mean, I should do some research, right?

Who is/was this poet? Is s/he real or fictional?

Does the Ubuntu tribe currently use this practice? (Did they ever?)

Who took the photo? What book or text is the excerpt from?

And then I remembered.

I’m an artist. A spontaneous, story-singing artist.

I work in the abstract and unproven, the ethereal and profound.

I make up stories and songs all of the time.

And they’re true.

They are invented and (sometimes) nonsensical, and maybe they never happened, but at the heart and at the center, they are true.

Because when we hear them (or tell them), we can imagine and believe that they really happened.

Or wish that they had.

This is a true story.

More Bloggity Goodness

2 comments for now

2 Responses to “Nothing But the Truth”

  1. […] It’s also about letting go of what we planned to have happen so we can see and appreciate what’s actually happening. In other words, seeing — and telling – a truth. […]

    06 Aug 2012 at 10:41 pm

  2. […] not everyone’s skepticism drew them to my same eyebrow-raising and frustration. For example, this person was also skeptical, but much to my facepalming, this was their […]

    10 Mar 2015 at 11:42 am

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