Because I only have Internet access intermittently, it is not as easy to respond, or to post comments or to read. I have taken to writing my blog in Word when I arise, and then, on my way to The Haven, I stop at MadRona's and post it. Which is generally when I have a chance to read comments -- but time moves on and I am on my way to experience the magic of the day.
Thank you everyone for your comments, your love and your cheers. And thank you Bev for sharing what's on your heart. Blessings to you and Larry and all your family. Happy Birthday Terry. I know my dear friend that you are in a place of joy. Having found that peace, I'm sure you're smiling, and sharing your beautiful sense of humour about our human peccadilloes. Be well my friend. We will see you anon.
Sometimes, the only way not to think about it, is to think about it. Eric Bibb, September 6, 2011, Spirit in the Song, The HavenIt is odd to open up my computer each morning and not be able to read my friends online, to not visit my favourite places, like Glynn’s and Maureen’s and Diane’s and Susan’s and so many others whose words and thoughts and images start my day.
It has been odd. And at the same time enlightening. In the absence of these voices and photographers and artists I hold so dear, I have had to rely on ‘just me’ to find my morning inspiration for this page. And at the same time, I have had to let go of the idea of it’s ‘just me’ writing here.
We are all connected.
In the course this week, one man mentions to the other that his birth name was the same until his step-father adopted him. A few short minutes, and a few names linked and they discover – they are related. Through a great-grandfather of some renown whom they share.
I share a song I wrote yesterday – and yes, I wrote a song! – and someone says, “Hey! That’s my story.”
We are all connected.
Especially through song.
On Monday night, Eric gave us all an assignment. Bring a song you’re working on, or a new piece you’re looking for insight on and we’ll all give you feedback. You can take the feedback, or not, hold onto what you’ve got, or not, but bring something to share.
I didn’t have a song to share, so yesterday morning I awoke and wrote a song – or the essence of a song.
And then the morning unfolded.
Ahmad of beautiful soul and a rich tapestry of notes woven through his music infused journey, shared the makings of a song he is writing. I listened to his words, to his mellifluous voice flowing over the images his story told and I put aside the song I had written.
You are a story-teller, a voice whispered within me. Why are you preaching?
It was a good question. The song I had written earlier that morning was too preachy, too, here’s the lesson, now learn it.
I decided to start over.
We broke for lunch.
I drove back to the house (the wild turkeys were expecting me) and as I drove along the winding road, the sun filtering through the leaves of the uppermost branches that formed a cathedral dome above my open sunroof, two lines flit into view with the grace of a butterfly alighting on a petal.
Hope lived in her belly
Strangling her soul
I held onto them.
And when I got back to the house, I sat down and began to write.
An hour later, my song was complete. At least I thought it was, though it didn’t have a melody.
In the afternoon session, Eric asked those of us who had not yet shared to offer up our songs.
I read mine aloud.
There was silence.
Eric asked me to read it again.
It’s complete, he said, when I finished reading. Who hasn’t experienced such betrayal? Who hasn’t known the loss of love? Do you have a melody in mind? he asked.
I laughed. Other than a heartbeat, no, I replied.
And that is how I came to sit in the sun beside the great Eric Bibb and his guitar. Notes rolled off the strings as effortlessly as pearls resting against eachother in a priceless necklace. With each searching note, Eric zeroed in on the essence of the music to my song. He strummed the chords, pen held between his teeth, one foot beating time on the wooden deck upon which we sat in the late afternoon sun. He made notes on the page where he’d written my lyrics. He scribbled a chord. Strummed a phrase. Uh uh. He’d intone. Scratch out the note he’d made upon the page and start again.
A chord resonated. Ahhh. Oh yeah. His head nodded. Up and down. Yeah. He turned to me. How is that for you? he asked.
I smiled. Seriously? I laughed, deep inside, in my soul. Does it get any better than this?
It's great, I replied.
Can you sing it?
I hesitated. Sing it? I searched for some clever throw-away line with just the right amount of self-deprecating humour to be funny. No words came to my rescue. I sang the verse.
That’s good. That’s good, said Eric. Let’s do another verse.
And so, basking in the warmth of the afternoon sun, the water dancing in its brilliant light, the leaves whispering in the Madronna’s all around, Eric played and I sang. My voice was hesitant at first, searching for its beat until it found itself settling into the soulful callings of Eric’s guitar. And like a soul slipping with ease into grace, the melody began to flow as Eric lead my words home into their song.
Earlier, in the morning session, I had sat in humble silence as Don and then Cameron and Ahmad shared their songs. I had been awed.
“I love being amidst greatness,” I said. “It brings my soul peace.”
Greatness is our natural state of being. It flows all around. It only asks we listen to the rhythm of our hearts to feel its beat.
Sitting on that deck, feeling the warmth of Eric and his guitar, I touched it. Just like I touch it every day when I listen to my heart beat its song of love and joy and freedom. Just like I know it in every way when I breathe deeply and sink into that place where I am at peace.
I am at peace.
There is greatness all around me. There is greatness and generosity of spirit and the beauty of souls connecting through the songs of life we share.
It is a beautiful, messed up, jumbled up, turned around and upside down journey this life of ours. No matter where we’re at, it is a journey that grows richer when we sing our stories, of love found, and lost. Of hope rising and fear fading. When we sing our stories of life.
No matter the tune, when we share the songs of our heart we are all connected.
It doesn’t matter the song we sing. What matters most is that we do.
PS – and yes, I will share my song. Eric is setting it to music and has promised me a CD. Seriously. What could be better than that?