Page 2 - When The Soul Looks Out
P. 2

When the Soul Looks Out                                                                                    ~Dr. Priscilla Page

                                                                     in search of peace and self-knowledge. Creative expression through dance, music, the making of a home, and even child’s
                                                                        play motivate the characters as they move through the world. With Another Avenue, Lateef revisits Cafarelli, the Turbaned
                         As my partner Glenn Siegel started to conceptualize the digital centenary celebration for Dr. Yusef Lateef, I learned about
                                                                  Afrofuturism. The central characters support each other while making connections to the natural and the spiritual worlds
                            Dr. Lateef’s creative writing: Night in the Garden of Love, Another Avenue, and Spheres. I boldly proposed that we could
                                 We ordered copies of the books in late spring and I started reading them in order of publication. I fell in love with many
                              include selections from this body of work and I would take on the role of curator for the performance of these excerpts.
                                          page or two. “Where Is Lester?,” “The Bird,” “Destination,” and “Where Are The Goodies?,” all come from this collection
                                                                titled “Accidentals” and ending with another titled “Zeitgeist,” Night in the Garden of Love is a remarkable example of
                                    of the short stories in Spheres. This is not surprising, given that Lateef takes an episodic approach to the writing. As a
                                                    listening and performing music, and heeding lessons from one’s mother. When he writes about music, it is clear that
                                       reader, I found it easy to enter the more metaphoric and abstract pieces knowing that I would find meaning within a
                                                                           Woman, Mr. and Mrs. Scorpii, the Child, and the Mutant and continues to share their spiritual quests with the reader
                                                             writing in his two novellas, Night in the Garden of Love (1988) and Another Avenue (2006.) With an opening chapter
                                                 These pieces share a spiritual quality even when they appear to deal with worldly endeavors like observing nature,
                                                       he is a writing from his deep experience as a musician. At times he writes about technique and performance; other
                                                          times he weaves the past, the present, and an optimistic future into his stories. In contrast, I felt challenged by the
                                                                              through his labyrinthine writing style. The Turbaned Woman’s last recitative encapsulates their journey:
                                                                                                                    You can download a PDF of the performance text here.

                                                                                    Yes, make the yarn while there is time, twist and wind the fibers of life around the axis of your heart. Yes,  let your threads of life distance or direct you, and on living occasions let there be a sound motive. Don’t  falter on any half of a significant yet relatively minor part of something that remains to be described in  full. Use your heart to connect a part of a pair, regardless of the components

                                                                                              measurement is never negative on a scale. (119)

                 Introduction                published in 1976.                                         for greater joy in everyday life.
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7