It's the journey of my life. It's the Path I'm on. These songs are the signposts along the way, the places I've prayed, and the messages given that I tell. Maybe they'll be useful for you, as would be my hope.
They've been for me a way to keep track as I've so recently walked this ancient path, a path taken by so many, each in their own way, in their own time. It's not unique to me; it's a universal search for Spirit. I took up the discipline of divination, asking every day for guidance and listening for directions, and writing them down. Sometimes it was like being on fire and I learned to sit still and not fan the burning flames. The song "Grateful" came from that, along with the reminder to count my blessings every day.
I was reminded that, like all of us, I am light and I can shine. I already had the song 'Shine" so it moved right in and took on a new light, ready to do its work in the world. "Light and the Eye" also moved in from an old place where it had been living since I wrote it for the first shows at Carnegie Hall, and "Invocation" came in, too. They all belong here, on this album, this glimpse of this part of my life-long Journey.
Some of these songs – "The Singing Bird", "Sanctuary", "Hope-Feathered", "World Turns Tonight", "The Little Boat" - all began as songs I'd written as a verse/chorus structure for my songwriting classes. I took them back for my own, wrote new verses and bridges for them and put them here. They are mine now, and they are yours.
I thought that 12 songs were what I was getting, but what it turned out to be was a 2-volume set, 24 songs of Spirit and prayerful pondering of the Mystery. I wish I'd never had to write "Sailor", but a good man passed from this world and it needed to be marked. Another part of the telling – "Hand on You" - delved a bit into the deep subject of adoption and tried to rework the idea that kind hands upon the children are so deeply needed. Reworking common phrases into deeper meaning is something I love to do, witness "Carry the One" – something we were taught in early math, but which seemed to also ring true in a Zen way of Oneness.
A great deal of joy emerged in "Jai Yen-yen", "Miracle", "Dancing Star", "Sleeping Tigers" and "Lighthouse". You cannot be without joy in this life. We were meant for it, as on and on we go, between one place and another, stepping lightly and listening for the songs of larks.
Some songs came by way of other places. I took an old hymn, melody by Bach, wrote new words, gave it a new name – "Morning Glory" -and sang all three parts a capella. I found a prayer by Hildegard of Bingen that made for a lovely, simple song-prayer, "Holy Spirit". The last song I wrote for this collection was taken from President Obama's speech after the Boston Marathon. He was speaking in rhyme and I just caught it, built a little more, and called it "In Dreams, In Sleep".
These songs arrive in dreams, live and in person, in class, in divination, through writing and prayerful attention...every which way I can stay open, they come in of their own accord. Thank you for adding them to your loving attention.