Two Weeks With Jahméne Douglas U.P – Day Eleven



Well who’d have thought it! I’ve actually made it to day eleven of the blog! I know there are more times than not that the blog has gone up late into the night and the blogs are going up at a fairly unreasonable hour but I’ve gotta say it has been an absolute treat being able to get one post up every twenty four hours.  Truly.  I look to someone I know who has been following U2 for many years and writes about them regularly and I can’t help but think somewhere down the line in years to come I will be doing the same in regards to Jahméne’s art.  I will definitely need to get a concert in somewhere along the line and maybe even meet the great artist, but isn’t it incredible when you find a piece of music that reaches into your very being and touches you in a way that is so personal and so profound.  The only thing is I need to start thinking about what I will blog about once the days of Unfathomable Phantasmagoria are finished…suggestions on a post card please!

Anyway, yesterday the blog was concerned with the song My Faith and the theme of the day was appropriately enough…Faith!  I looked at faith as being something which is not only handed down but is also intrinsically personal.  I gave the example of my own life and my own awakening to faith beyond that which I can see and feel and experience cognitively for the most part.  I talked about how it was that I came to have faith and how this relates to Jahméne’s beautiful song which sings so eloquently or where one turns when one needs to find some peace.  Faith isn’t easy, but in the times when we “get it right” it is incredible and we do (or at least I do!) find some peace.  Therefore as we move into discussing the track I Wish the topic shall indeed be Peace.

I Wish – Peace

Ok so let’s be honest…I Wish is a bloody brilliant song!  Even if this song were to be a stand alone track it would be spectacular.  But it’s not; it’s included in an album of other bloody brilliant tracks which form together to tell one single story and celebrate the beauty, the art and the mystery of love!  Wow!  Isn’t it wonderful.  The words of the song are ones which I think we can all relate to.  Perhaps that is what makes this song so affecting; because it touches the very recesses of each of our hearts and reminds us that yes we do desire to live in a world where everyone can extend to each other some simple kindness.  It’s so remarkably simple…but like Faith it isn’t easy.

This song is also remarkable because it gives another opportunity to showcase what Jahméne is capable as a vocal artist.  His voices moves effortlessly from those low notes right up to scaling the heights of the high ones with passion and grace.  It is a beautiful vocal performance.  I would encourage all to watch the video which goes along with it ( in which we see Jahméne physically reaching out to those in need (a theme which will be revisited towards the end of the album) and the same is true of the song.  I Wish reads almost like a prayer; praying for peace on earth and for kindness and decency to rule.  I wish that love ruled on this earth.  Wow.  How beautiful is that?  How true as well…

Not only this but that the song was written by Diane Warren is significant.  It wasn’t until I ran a search to see what other songs this artist has written did I myself see the significance of this.  Diane has written songs for so many artists such as LeAnn Rimes, Whitney Houston, Trisha Yearwood (How Do I Live…ohh don’t start me up!) Meatloaf and so many more…the woman is musical royalty!  That she would write I Wish and then for this song to be chosen as the anthem for Peace One Day 2016 to me suggests a certain passing of the torch; Jahméne is the future and what a bright future he has ahead of him.

As one who has grown up in Northern Ireland peace was a word I heard so often as I was growing up.  I was seven years of age when the first IRA ceasefires were called in 1994 and I was eleven years of age when the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998.  It is only as I have grown that I have come to realise the incredulity of these events.  They were incredibly risky for all concerned.  Yet peace has been achieved in this land for the most part and this is something to celebrate.  However when I was growing up I did not see any difference between people of other backgrounds and myself.  For this I am eternally grateful to my parents for instilling in my siblings and I the values of decency, tolerance, and openness to people of all backgrounds.  My mammy and daddy really are the coolest people I know (though it is only through their togetherness that this has been achieved).  As I have grown I have come to understand that it doesn’t matter where you’ve come from, as the great Neil Diamond would declare (an amazing concert):

“Brothers and sisters, itty bitty children, black and white, rich and poor, gay and straight, great and small, we are God’s children all!”

To those I meet on the street on a daily basis, you are my brother and my sister.  At this stage I would like to relay a brief story on this matter.  Some time ago I was in a rush to get to the bus station to get home.  I was late out of work and was rushing to the bus station at the Europa Hotel in Belfast.  I don’t know if many of you know the streets of Belfast (where I was working at the time) but along the road down to Shaftesbury Square from Queen’s University there are a number of homeless people in particular areas.  It’s funny because when we get asked a question we don’t really want or know how to answer, our eyes suddenly become very friendly with the floor, or the lights, and this would have been true for me in the past if I met a homeless person or someone begging in the street.  I walked and could see him sitting in a sleeping bag with his hand outstretched.  The only money I had was my bus fare.  Something stirred in me and I slowed down as I approached him.  “Please” he said.  I stopped, the entire universe put on hold for one brief moment and the Soul of the World, God, waited for a reply…I put the money into his hand and met his eyes.  A lifetime of memories is contained in a person’s eyes.  We say the eyes are the windows to the soul, and that’s why crying is good is because we’re cleaning the windows to the soul.  The tears were welling up in his eyes.  And we just stood there for a moment, which lasted an eternity, me holding his hand in broad daylight, in a packed street, and him crying.  All I could say was “Thank you”…so my question would be, did that man meet Christ in me, or did I meet Christ in him?  Was it me holding his hand, or him holding mine?  What holds these hands together?  Christ.  Always Christ.  I went on my way, and I can’t express what I felt afterwards.  It was so pure, I felt closer to God in that moment than I had in years or saying prayers, because even when words fail us we are still in God’s presence.  I wasn’t even worried about missing my bus and that I now had to stop and get more money out of the bank.  As it happened my bus was sitting there waiting.

It was a moment of pure undisturbed Peace.  There is Peace on this earth.  Often it’s not newsworthy stuff or a story everyone will hear, but it is there nonetheless and if we can all work that little bit harder for peace…for Love.  Then it won’t just be in my heart or your heart…it will be a global movement.  The dream of so many (I think of Dr Martin Luther King Jr here) will come true.

Where do we start?  In our own hearts and then moving on to those around us.  What we will achieve will be something of real Beauty.  In this blog I have already discussed friendship and family and so tomorrow when writing about the track Forever & Eternity I will be discussing romantic love and the Beauty found therein…I hope you all join me for it!

I have experienced peace on Earth spent with my family today…I am blessed beyond belief.

Peace and Love!





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