Wednesday, February 15, 2006


This is up there in the category of "least likely titles for a post in my blog," but no joke, it is about Madonna. A couple weeks ago I did two NIA classes where the teacher played all Madonna tunes. More recent Madonna stuff, not from the Like a Virgin and Material Girl era. I would not have guessed it was Madonna. The songs had the ubiquitous dance beat typical of her songs, but also chanting and world beats that gave it an Indian or African feel.

Now I don't follow Madonna and know very little about what she has been up to for the past twenty years. I know she is older now and married (how many times?), living in England, I think, and has kids. I had heard that she was into Jewish mysticism and had written some children's books. I had actually seen and bought three of her children's books at the local dollar store. She is a good storyteller and the books gave me some more insight into her creativity.

She is obviously a very talented, creative person, even if you may not have her same taste. After the first NIA class, I was surprised to learn that the music, which I thought was a compilation of world music, was all by the same artist and that that artist was Madonna. When the same music was used the next day, I thought I'd listen more carefully to see if I could glean more about what makes her tick these days, what inspires her creativity.

It was interesting. It occurred to me that a lot of the appeal of Madonna is that she dares to voice people's deepest wishes. I enjoyed exercising to her music and I was amazed at her skill at articulating dreams. The lyrics don't necessarily tell a story or make a lot of sense (to me) but there are impelling repeated words and phrases such as "soar,” “butterfly," and "remember who you are." I can't recall them all, but they gave a real impression of empowerment and self-determination with a little bit of mysticism thrown in.

I never was a big fan of Madonna, but my respect for her and her ability to invent and reinvent herself has grown. Good exercise music. Good transformation music. Good messages. I bet she is a really great mother.

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