Mario Benassi A voice for earth, a vessel for spirit, a catalyst for change
We sat under an old oak tree, our voices rising and falling in harmony, the morning sun casting shadows on our skin. We were singing, like songbirds do, waiting for nothing, but sort of waiting for Annie, as Annies are usually off smiling in their own morning sunshine.
Singing from the heart was nothing new for Mario or me, but this was our first time sharing a song together, just us.
Cross-legged & rooted where we sat, we sang for the moment. No audience except the winged creatures, and a lovely sister who came to gift Mario a little plant that was meant for her grandmother.
This is how much people loved Mario, they gave him their grandmother's plants.
The next day after our serendipitous meeting, Mario went down to the river to play and pray and he left his body to dance in the eternal waters. He was 22 and he was beautiful.
His foot got caught in the rocks as he slid like a playful child down a rock slide, one which he had played with a dozen or so times before. He went peacefully, like a curious child, and seeker of life's mysteries, eager to see whats beyond the river bend.
When I found out, I was singing the song he had taught me.
Mario was & is magic. Everything he touched turned to song. Many of us had spent the weekend with him at a transformational festival. We heard him sing into the wee hours of the morning and heard his laugh first thing as we rose up for the day.
He was a singer, dancer, yogi, and excellent hugger; a swimmer, a fisherman, a poet & a lover of life. He was a son, a brother & a lover. To me he was a buddy, someone I was lucky enough to share deep conversations with on whether or not he should wear the ceramic yoni necklace a friend had gifted him.
I imagine he asked me questions the way he asked his sisters questions. And I know, because his sister told me, I smushed his face the way she would. I think that's why he liked me.
Mario was more than a little brother, he was a great and humble teacher. One morning, I noticed him nearby, sitting in the storytelling dome listening to the stories of the elders, while I hula hooped in the sunshine. Our eyes met and a great transmission took place.
I heard: you are home, & you are free. His admiring gaze felt safe, and I felt seen. With a knowing smirk between us, my day was instantly brighter.
This is how it is with the great ones. Mario was a young bird but had an old soul. He showed us what it looks like to really see and honor the beauty in front of our eyes, while not grasping too tightly.
Hanging with Mario the last days of his life inspired recognition of the sweetness in my own existence and what magic powers I offer to this world.
You are home and you are free.
This is a sentiment that will ripple out into the universe. Mario is home now, wherever old souls go. He feels like the light, & the gentle whisper of the universe that all is well.
He is a reminder to serve the community and to give kindness without expectations (I'm still working on that one). I hope to serve the community as he did in his life, and keep treasured in my memory the powerful way he brought us together in his passing.
It feels real more than ever now, that each one of us has a mission here on earth. In Yoga, we call it Dharma. It is absolutely freeing to uncover your place in this existence. The sweet spot where you feel creative, at service, and in peace. When you ease into the flow of your Dharma, creativity naturally shines.
When one of us remembers, more of us begin to rise in remembrance of our creative essence. To serve each other in love is one of the most creative aspects of humanity.
There are so many things in this existence that need to be changed, and yet how beautiful to know change is the only consistent. Everything is shifting, transmuting, opening, closing, dying, expanding, burning & leaving. I am remembering to appreciate the beauty of all that is, of existence itself and it's creative nature, that even in death, the vibrant light of creation becomes purer.
Every emotion under the sun can come from loss, & every emotion we experience is valid. Now when I feel an emotion that is uncomfortable, I don't look away, I lean into to it with love. I observe, think of Mario, and perpetually come back to my creative nature, my Dharma. Come back to the truth in the music.
The day before Mario passed, under that old oak tree, two friends cut from the same cloth, made a pact. Two singing bards, each with one hand in the earth and the other on an instrument said we'd be there for each other. With voices that weave the tales of existence, we are all notes on this one great song, and as Mario was there for me that day to hold space for my song, I wish to be there for all of you, to honor your songs and encourage you to sing.
So we gather in Mario's birthplace every year to honor the water, creativity, and music. Check out Aquascension here.
In our morning song & waiting for Annie convo, Mario said he wanted to start holding retreats, so we hold an epic gathering to honor his creative magic.
I know he will be there in spirit because his spirit lives on through us.
Look into coming to this event filled with activism, medicine songs, and techniques to free your creativity.
We are made of the stuff of creation & it is your birthright to express your deepest truths through any medium that call to you.
Mario said, "I just want to share with the world in my gifts".
You are a gift, you are a water blessing.