Nai Palm is an invitation to blossom

What is it about witnessing someone who is so comfortable sharing their own genius that it calls the rest of us to get serious about cultivating, if not also sharing, our own?

…genius must be invited out of a person. People carry to this world something important that they must deliver… To see the genius in a young person is to give it the fertile ground required for it to burst forth and blossom, for it is not enough to be born into this world loaded with such a beauty.

–Malidoma Patrice Some, from his book The Healing Wisdom of Africa, 1999, TarcherPerigee.

There have been exactly two instances in the last year when someone’s live performance cracked open some sort of direct connection between me and the source of creativity (and yes, I realize how woo woo that sounds): one was Feist’s concert at the Powerstation in November, and the other was watching Nai Palm perform solo at the Tuning Fork a few weeks ago.

I don’t even particularly love Nai Palm’s style of music (you might be familiar with her as the frontwoman for Hiatus Coyote?), but there is simply no denying her talent. And perhaps more importantly, her PRESENCE.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

–Usually attributed to Anaïs Nin, but the source remains mysterious.

I couldn’t decide which of these to share, so here are two videos of Nai Palm performing Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland.

The sound is so much better in the first, but the staging is cold and weird, and she hardly reveals any emotion on her face; her presence in the second is so much closer to what it felt like to witness her perform in person a few weeks ago, and that’s what I was really hoping to get across.

What cracks open your creativity channel / throws you into the void / connects you with everything that is or was or will yet be? Are there things you can do to tap into “it” (or keep “it” open) yourself, through meditation or prayer or pyschedelics or dancing yourself into a trance, perhaps? Or do you depend on rare glimpses into other people’s genius? Or is it some combination of the above?

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