The Heartbeat Of The Ocean

I am in Kawaii today attending the memorial service for a friend who died far too young.  It will be a small affair on a beach with twenty or so people.  We will be grilling lobster, having cocktails, and then sprinkling her remains in the sea.  Just as she wished.

I have been asked to coordinate the music for the occasion.

Last night, I visited the beach.  It was a magnificent night with a full moon reflecting on the ocean, tropical clouds hanging in the sky as though they were borrowed from a movie set, and waves softly washing onto the shore.  There is a reason many consider this paradise.

I was joined by my friend's father.  He is most sad to lose his daughter.  We sat - not speaking much - staring at - and listening to - the sea.

"The ocean has a heartbeat" he said.  "I first experienced it as a teenager in Wales, but have heard it throughout my life."  We continued sitting there, listening to the heartbeat.

It's tempo is slow.  Slower than your own heartbeat.  I thought of the great Peter Tosh and how he often said that the universal appeal of reggae music is that its tempo closely matched the human heartbeat.

Then I thought of Hawaiian music and how its tempo actually does match the ocean.  Other music does, as well.  Surfer Girl by the Beach Boys particularly comes to mind.

So as I put this mix together, I am thinking about the heartbeat of the ocean, and how that heartbeat is a sign of life.


While we were preparing for the memorial service, the father brought his macbook into the living room and played a mix of songs that - I believe - he had assembled while thinking of his daughter.  It was beautifully sad.

We played his mix tonight.  It made all the difference.


  1. On the passing of one loved:

    Life is a beautiful series of moments that slip from observation, to participation, to only a memory all to quickly.  Such is the passing of a friend, and especially a family member or the one that is loved as deeply as a family member.  All these people make deep impression on a person, many of which can not be expressed as they are felt with intense emotion and they dwell in a place where words have no ability to commune.  Deep within us where we vibrate in harmony with the universe, this is where we feel the presence, the persistence, and the physical being of those we love.  

    Regardless of any present relationship, usually at a point in time there is a moment that defines this relationship, and that moment is the foundation for the continuing experience that requires nurturing, compromise, and forgiveness from time to time.  These are the moments in life that provide the juice that power our very existence.   Without this, we all feel weak and less enabled; but, this is the connection that we strive to receive from others and are so willing give to make the bonds that we need to survive.  This is a reason that the pain of loss is felt so intensely.   It is a physical fault within us, as our brain still wants to connect with pathways that have been formed over time, compounded, reinforced, molded and enhanced with memory of events even the nuances of expanded experience.  To have this physical activity suddenly truncated with loss, is potentially the most dread filled action that any human experiences.  This dread of Yin has an opposite to balance the harmony in that the Yang of morning uses the pain to settle within the mind the memories that allow the memories to persists that turn tears into warm smiles, over time.  Another cue from the harmony of nature, is that the association of music elicits deep healthy emotional vibrations that remind us of the person we have lost sync with.

    The compilation of music that was played at the memorial is a wonderful tribute, and heals the soul, as the waves are perceived and combined with wordless emotive feeling connecting the mind with the love felt, the experiences loss, and knowledge that the foundation built will never cease because love is the universal harmony.


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