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Happy Spring!  I hope it brings renewal, awakening and bliss that springs from the most incredibly soulful connections. 
 
The Book of Awakening:



I’ve been reading Mark Nepo’s “The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want By Being Present to the Life You Have” for the past couple weeks.  It was one of Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2010.  What a blessing this book is.  And no I don’t like it just because the book title is a long one! The words fall fresh on me like a good gentle spring rain.  It is a series of insights and meditations for each day of the year.  Mark Nepo is a poet and his passages are poetic and beautiful.   For instance, for May 1st, the insight had to do with “Burying and Planting: The culmination of one love, on dream, one self, is the anonymous seed of the next”.  Nepo observes that “[o[ne self carries us to the extent of its usefulness and dies.  We are then forced to put that once beloved skin to rest, to join it with the ground of spirit from which it came, so that it may fertilize the next skin of self that will carry us into tomorrow.”  I don’t know about you, but this really speaks to me.  I find myself breathing so much more deeply when reading passages from this book.   I just wanted to share this book with you.   I recommend it highly and lovingly.

From Abby To Abbey: An Open Letter to Abbey Lincoln

Abbey Lincoln

I was afraid to be what I am for a long time, but it is truly an honor to be an artist.  It is an honor and a privilege to be a singer, songwriter, producer of beauty, a medicine woman, culture critic, thinker, analyst, dreamer, dream maker, observer, creator and a concerned world citizen.

It was a few months ago that I heard that you were in a nursing home in Harlem and I wanted to see you…to meet you…to tell you how much I love your work and appreciate you.  I did not do it.  My mother always says that delay is danger and I regret not trying to see you.  There is so much I wanted to ask you and to tell you.  You were my namesake…You were Abbey to my Abby.

I was getting my nails done on Saturday afternoon in a nail salon on long island where I live when I got a twitter message that you had passed at 80 years of age.  I honestly did not know what to do.  I gasped suddenly and the nice woman doing my nails looked at me and asked if she had hurt me.  I told her “no…it’s just that someone I loved but had never met is no longer here.”

I can still remember the first and only time I ever saw you perform Miss Abbey.  It was in Chocolate City … Washington DC.  You were wearing this beautiful suit looking real sharp and sassy.  I forget the color of your suit, but you were wearing this hat full of majesty…you simply looked marvelous.  You were surrounded by younger male musicians, all incredibly talented.  And you performed not on a stool, but from a chair that looked like it was velvet with a tall back to frame your regality.  You looked every bit of the Queen that you were and will always be. Why do we not do the things that we should sometimes until a loved one is dead.  And Abbey, you should know that I loved you.  You put so many things together that I had not seen put together in the ways that you put them together.  You put lyrics together like a magician lining up her tools.  You made magic.  You showed me by example how a singer was more than a melody maker.  Every cell in your body, every note you sang, every gesture you made on stage, every lyric you wrote, cried freedom.  You also spoke not just with your songs, but with the way you lived your life.

You should know how much I enjoyed listening to Abbey Sings Abbey.  The instrumentation was just incredible.   Your delivery was moving.  Your words, though, are your true legacy and they touch me to my very core. “You can never lose a thing if it belongs to you” is poignant in a way that is beyond description, whether you are talking about a man, a job or any other person place or thing. 

“ Throw it away

Throw it away

Give your love, live your life

Each and every day

And keep your hand wide open

Let the sun shine through

‘Cause you can never lose a thing, if it belongs to you”

– from Abbey Lincoln’s “Throw It Away”

Abbey Lincoln

You inspire me to stop and look at the world and to say as boldly and as bravely as I can that “I am Here”.   In your own words, “You know, when everything is finished in a world, the people go to look for what the artists leave.  It’s the only thing that we have really in this world – is an ability to express ourselves and say I was here…”  Thank you, Miss Abbey for your legacy.  Thank you for your honesty, your passion, your heart (as heard and felt in your music) and for your bravery.

With so much love and respect,

Abby Dobson

Sleeping Beauty: You Are the One You Have Been Waiting On”, my upcoming album release, is my passion project. Do you have a passion project? What is your passion? I hope that you are pursuing your passion with purpose and are encouraged by the promise of powerful possibilities in your life. This is the first in an ongoing series of podcasts that I will produce to describe my concept album, slated for release on June 29, 2010. Loosely based on the fairytale “Sleeping Beauty”, my passion project is a call to arms that embraces and privileges wakefulness over the kind of sleep that numbs spirits to real life. In honor of Women’s Month, I recorded this podcast to celebrate the power, brilliance, resilience, and beauty of all women. Abby Dobson – Sleeping Beauty – Podcast #1

Abby Dobson – Sleeping Beauty – Podcast #1

Maxwell

July 9, 2009 – Journal Entry

Dear Diary:

I bought a Funkmeister from Moe’s in Penn Station last night and jumped on the train headed home.  I ate quickly on the train because I couldn’t contain myself.  Right there on the train, I reached for him.  It had been awhile since I’ve anticipated a man’s presence in quite this way.  I longed to be engaged in a soulful conversation with a beautiful man …to get reacquainted with him and his point of view…to be given an opportunity to just listen to something soulful.  Actually, I’ve missed everything I know about this man.  Mostly, I’ve missed hearing from him, his voice so smooth and rough at the same time.  Hearing his voice has always felt like silk tracing his heels gently on a piece of gravel set like a diamond (and held proudly) in the arms of a cobblestone street (surrounded by miles and miles of non distinct paved and un paved roads) beaming with character and cloaked in history, a lone throwback to a time when quality and integrity mattered).

 I remember the very first time I saw him.  He was rolling around on a floor with a smile on his face as if deep in the memory of a kiss and moment of ecstasy he had once shared with someone.  You know how we can be some times ladies.  I wanted some of that.  It seems I’ve been waiting and anticipating his return for some time now.  Of course I’ve been doing my own thing, but I’ve missed him.  There he was yesterday on a beautiful and sunny Tuesday just sitting calmly, patiently and quietly on a bench surrounded by others more likely to speak when they have little to say.  He was cleannnnnnnnnn!  When I saw him, I just couldn’t help myself.  I reached for him.  I saw other people checking him out and was delighted that they wanted him too…you know that feeling of being delighted by the admiration of your man by others that you tolerate and are kind of tickled by cause it confirms what you know in your heart…that you’ve got something special.  Again, I reached him… More accurately, I reached for the long awaited embodiment of his essence.  After many days of winter and rain, I had finally made my way back to him…back to Maxwell’s BLACKSummer’s Night.

                                                                                                       -Abby Dobson

www.reverbnation.com/abbydobson
www.blackplanet.com/abbydobson
www.myspace.com/abbydobsonmusic

 “Go Make The World You Dream”

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