Listening to Al Green

Music brings life into to me. I know it does for everyone else, but music for me is proof that I must be alive.

I am now listening to Al Green, as I try to soothe my sense of nothingness.

This soulful bring me back to the time when I was on the edge of choosing life or death.

I played punk to try to force anger into my body, but there was nothing.

I played Mozart to find a sense of beauty, there was nothing.

I played Louis Armstrong seeking some joy, there was nothing.

I played Madness to know I was in a certain time and place, there was nothing.

Prostitution had made empty, made suicide seemed logical.

I wanted to stop.

Stop the pain. Stop the hate. Stop every hole in my body from being filled.

I wanted an end.

End to stupid hoping. End of men lying to me. End of me not knowing how to end it.

I was nothing so I wanted nothing.

Nothing comes of nothing.

Then for some reason, I put on the greatest hits of Al Green.

And before I could understand, his voice reach into my soul, and soothe it.

I was crying. It was painful, but I was crying.

I was silently singing along, and tapping my hand on the table.

I was becoming alive.

I was becoming someone not nothing.

His soulful songs of love meant nothing to me, except feeding me with hope, joy and a reaching for life.

I could not do human love, I had no idea what spiritual love was, I was struggling to even like myself – but Al Green spoke to the part that never stopped reaching for any form of love.

Al Green said, you never really lost hope, you always were someone who should be loved, sing with me and maybe we find a way out.

Hope usually is poison when you are prostituted, especially hope sent by do-gooders who are there as long it not too difficult or become too long-term.

To survive prostitution is can be vital to forget about hope.

But Al Green and other soulful soul music give me a safe pathway to start to understand hope.

I listen to Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, The Impressions, Northern Soul, Martha Reeves, Dusty Springfield, Percy Sledge, Otis Redding and so many others – and slowly learnt I was fully alive.

But Al Green was the way in, so I will always be deeply attached to his music.

I was learning the way to hope was to know and trust that it would never be an easy or quick journey.

Hope comes with many depressions, many blockings of the way forward, with moments where hope feels like a curse.

Hope is no quick fix – it is a layering of safety, a layering of happiness, a laying of a sense of self.

It is a discovering of what may be called your inner core or soul.

This inner core may have been hiding away as prostitution rips away all contact with safety, rips away a senses of self,  and makes any happiness a fake emotion that may keep you alive.

It was hiding, but it never ever disappeared.

I found I had a soul when I found I was crying listening to Al Green.

My tears were not for show, they were not fake – my tears were private and my tears were life.

My tears were the way to hope and love.

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