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Published: 2002/03/20
by Cris Janoff

Quest For The Golden Flute: Your Own Triumphant Song!

More and more as I listen to the music of the Grateful Dead and other inspiring bands, I become aware of the great and majestic possibilities that are intrinsic to being alive. Like a bright, shining mirror, the music shows you just how high you can reach, how far you can go, how truly rich and golden the treasure is to be sought. And as joyous and enlightening as it can be to ride the crest of someone elses musical wave, something even greater and more triumphant calls us the search for our own instruments, so we can make our own inspiring and soul satisfying music, and fulfill our true destiny in these lives.
Those of us who have reached truly spectacular heights through music, know of its power to open one to glorious visions, feelings, insights, and possibilities. And though the view from the mountaintop is astounding, theres still something missing, something not complete, a deeper calling that needs to be answered and carried out if we are to fulfill our destinies and make the music that we were born to make.
Just imagine what it would be like to be the one up on stage whos singing the song and playing the groove. Being at the height of your creative powers and making something truly beautiful and inspiring, opening up someones eyes to something magnificent and grand or something delicate and sacred, lifting them up to a higher and more enlightening place, truly going for the gold in life and holding it in your hands.
In the words of Mickey Hart, speaking at a memorial for Jerry Garcia in Golden Gate Park, If the Grateful Dead did anything, we gave you the power. You have the groove, you have the feeling . . . You take it home and do something with it.
Thats the next and higher step finding the instruments were meant to play and wiping away all the dust thats gathered, so we can start to make music again. Finding a dream or a thousand dreams and embarking on a quest to make them come true. Reaching for a place thats higher and richer than the one youre living in now. And keeping the wheels spinning no matter how low the valley or how distant the peak may be or seem to be. Reminding ourselves over and over again of the importance and truth of the quest, and not letting anyone stop us from going all the way.
And also, having the strength and fortitude to take every step necessary to complete the journey, without ever taking our eyes off of the prize. For as great and majestic as the jam was or is that you experienced or will experience, that kind of inspiring groove lies in us as well, just waiting to be released from up on the stage with the lights shining down, and the dream wide open and fully realized.
To close, a poem from my book Songs From The Golden Flute, A Book of Poems and Lyrics: The Golden Flute
Like a bird that sings from its heart without any fear
Sing about everything that you hold dear.
Dont let all those sweet songs inside of you
Sit and rust away,
Let them pour out in all their glory
Cause there may not be another day.
And know that you have life and breath
Because you were born to play a special part;
Youre meant to put the golden flute to your lips
And play whats in your heart.
Cris Janoff is the author of Songs From The Golden Flute: A Book of Poems and Lyrics available at

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