When the soul is starved for nourishment, it lets us know with feelings of emptiness, anxiety or yearning. ~ Menachem Mendel Schneerson
We all yearn for something – things that are universal and timeless: love, happiness, success, fulfillment, connection, acceptance, health, power. Often we yearn for the unattainable: an idealized past or departed loved ones.
The Irish scholar and novelist C.S. Lewis (he wrote the Chronicles of Narnia ) described yearning as “inconsolable longing” for “we know not what.”
Yearning can be an intense desire for something beyond our human capacity to realize – a sense that something is missing that would make everything complete if only we could fulfill it.
Yearning is something I’ve been contemplating. It inspired this composition of the same name, which is part of my Elsewhere album. My wish is for it to resonate with people who are longing, searching to fill a void, seeking a place in a world into which they feel they do not fit.
You will hear – and see – the searching in the piece and the emptiness – as well as turmoil, even desperation in the wordless glances, the tears streaking down the woman’s face, the tentative touch of a gentle, reaching, then retreating hand. There is a pervading sense of longing tinged with alienation as the couple seek connection then pull back.
For my Yearning video, I collaborated with Bali-based Russian artist, Alla Dulh to portray the unfulfilled searching that individuals undergo in their desire for connection. Alla’s paintings on antique wood serve as a backdrop to the struggle and longing that individuals experience in their effort to be accepted and understood.
As I think about yearning, I also see it as a wonderful thing. It may lead us to fulfill our dreams and realize our deepest desires. It may also teach us about acceptance – for what we have and what we are, that not all we yearn for is realistic or attainable – and to be grateful for what we have. Namaste.
This music video was produced by the talented Australian film maker, Cosmic (Instagram: @afreelancehuman) with whom I’ve had many past collaborations. The enchanting setting for the video is Bali’s Chapung Sebali (Jungle Fish) resort based in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. (www.chapung.com)
The profound quote by Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902 – 1994) at the top of this story also inspired deeper thoughts about the emotion of yearning for me. He was a charismatic rabbi, known as one of the greatest minds of his time. His teachings, focused on education, morality and acts of kindness, fill more than 300 volumes. His life was devoted to the spiritual and physical welfare of others for which he won the Congressional gold medal.