It's life. We bite off more than we can chew. And then we learn how to chew it. Eric Bibb. Sept. 7,2011. Spirit in the Song, The Haven
The Haven (a little slice of heaven by the sea)
After the last chord was strung. After the last note sung. After the writing and rehearsals. The laughter and the tears. After the voice of fear was quieted. The voice of doubt relieved. There was the song.
There was the song and a night and a knot in the tapestry of the lives of the eight people who on Sunday had come together as strangers and were now knotted fast as friends.
Nothing can undo the knot of kinship woven in the weave of magic that was spun throughout these days. Nothing can take the knots back. Nothing can unplay the notes. Nothing can take the song undone.
And after it was over. After the applause and the smiles and the ‘job well done’, I stood at the waters edge in the stillness of the dark, looked up into the stars and let the silence fall all around me.
She climbed down upon a moonlit path and stood upon the shore beside me. She opened her arms and I stepped gratefully into her embrace.
Joy is measured in the breaths of my heart beating in time. In time to our song. This song we have created.
Far beyond the words we strung together in melodic verse. High above the Bflats and Fsharps, the major chords and minors, far, far beyond their gentle strum beats the rhythm of my heart. Of our hearts holding time together.
Once upon a time there was a little girl who believed in magic. She believed in wonder and mystery, of dreams calling in the night and happiness riding in on the light of day. She believed the world truly was her oyster. That only goodness would rise with the sun.
And then, one day something happened. To this day she cannot tell you what that something was. She cannot tell you what happened. She just knows something did. Many somethings to steal away her eyes of wonder. Her belief in dreams and dreaming. And in the harsh and grating container of those some things, she stopped up all her dreams. She put away her wonder. Because somewhere written in the lines of the songs she sung was the echoing refrain,
And the wonder died upon a dream. And the wonder died upon a dream.
Sometimes, in some dark alley, in a bar or high upon a mountain top, or deep in some stranger’s arms, she’d whisper into the night. “I wonder where my dreams went. I wonder where the magic’s gone?” But mostly, she left the song unsung. Mostly she didn’t dream.
And then, one beautiful summer’s day, a prince rode in and promised to sweep her away to happily ever after.
She’d been looking for her prince for a very long time so she didn’t think about it long. Who could refuse a shortcut to happiness driving up in a shiny red Ferrari?
“My mama always said someday my prince would come,” she said as she climbed into his steed with nary a backwards glance at the gods of caution warning her to take the next curve slow.
She did buckle up her seatbelt. He’d promised her it would be a hell of a ride.
Now, it would be easy to put all the blame for forgotten dreams and broken hearts upon the broad shoulders of her knight in shining armour. He did lie. And he did manipulate. And scheme and tear her world apart.
But, in truth, her falling out with magic happened long before he rode up promising her the world. He was not the destroyer of her dreams.
They had vanished long before he appeared on the horizon in his shiny red Ferrari rusting to black.
She’d only needed that particular ride to take her into that place she’d dared not go for all those years. That dark, forbidding landscape of her heart where she had locked away her dreams, shored up all her wonder behind a wall of stone and fallen into a sadness hidden behind the brilliance of the smile she held in place for all to believe, she was not unhappy. She was as carefree as she could be.
And the wonder died within a dream. And the wonder died within a dream.
Her falling out of wonder began long before the men she could not name, long before the running circles round the moon in search of a better view. Her falling out of wonder began in those childhood days when a little girl stood upon a stage and called out with wild abandon, “Watch me. Watch me.”
And she leapt and she ran and she drew a picture and she wrote a verse and she sang a song and turned a cartwheel and stood upside down. And no one watched back.
And with each frantic calling out for attention, her voice grew weaker, her song fell silent.
And then, she sat in a circle of seven strangers and said, “I am not a songwriter. I do not sing.”
And her journey into wonder began with the unfolding of that lie. For in truth, she is a songwriter, the writer of her very own song of life singing beautifully in tune to a world of wonder dancing all around.
I stood beneath the stars last night, the waves lapping gently at my feet, the air a soothing whisper against my skin. I stood beneath the stars and I breathed. Deeply. And then I heard it. A voice, a welcoming voice in the wind. And the voice grew stronger until I heard many voices rising up in song at the edges of the night, pushing back the darkness, gathering in the light.
I heard it. This song we have created. together. This song of wonder, of joy, and magic. Always the magic. For this is a song of gratitude and peace rising up from my toes, cascading all around me, in me, through me, pulling me out into the tide racing back into the sea. Carrying me beyond the shores of nothing standing in my way but the way itself unfolding in this place of wonder.
I stood beneath the stars last night and I heard our song.
Come on home, it beckoned me. Come on home.
And I did. Come on home.
Thank you, Ahmad, Alyssa, Cameron, Don, Eric, Sari and Sylvie. Our songs connected are a beautiful knot that hold me fast as I soar into my dreams.