I’ve been reading Jamie’s blog for a while now and I am always touched by the intimate looks at her family life most. This one is a great encouragement to us all not to stifle creativity when we encounter it, whether in our children, our friends, or ourselves.
I know, I’ve been away doing other stuff. Among the things I’ve been working on is the following. It’s a poem a friend of mine wrote. I really liked it so I wanted to record it, but I didn’t want to just set it to music and have done. So after making several recordings of various women reading the poem I decided this was the best way to go.
Roll over the title to call up the player and listen to the recording and let me know what you think.
Click to launch file with plug-in or right click and ‘Save As..’ to download.
Where are the parents who love and comfort me?
The people who nurtured me,
The people who banished my fears like the wind,
The people who loved me no matter what?
Where have they gone?
Why aren’t they here now?
Do they still exist?
Perhaps they never did.
Where is the girlfriend?
The one who lent an ear,
The one who hugged me when my world turned upside down,
The one who was always there for me?
Why isn’t she here now?
Does she exist?
Perhaps she never did.
Where is the man who loved me beyond reason?
The man who helped me through life’s darkest hour,
The one who carried me when I couldn’t walk,
The man who would never leave me?
Why isn’t he here now?
Does he still exist?
Perhaps he never did.
Where are the people who care for me?
The ones who never leave,
The people who supported me,
The people who encouraged me,
The people who loved me unfailingly?
Why aren’t they here now?
I crawl sadly back inside myself,
That’s the only place they exist
When I was a child my mother did her level best to instill me with a love of literature, especially drama and poetry. In my teenage years I rebelled of course, but the fact remains that as I grew older the power of her influence made itself known. Her efforts bore more fruit than she might ever have imagined.
One of my favorite performances, introduced to me by my mother, is Jose Ferrer in the title role of the 1950 movie ‘Cyrano de Bergerac.’ Based on a play is about the romantic trials of a French swordsman, poet and attendee of the Royal Court, the story line will form the basis for Steve Martin’s movie Roxanne. (Trivia note: Jose Ferrer was the father ofMiguel Ferrer who, among other things, played Dr. Garret Macy in ‘Crossing Jordan’.)
In order that the rest of this post might have some context, here is a clip of my favorite scene from the movie…
The other day the poem composed by Cyrano during the duel came to my memory as I sat before my computer bemoaning my current situation (see former posts – tags ‘surgery’, ‘Achilles tendon’) I found myself inspired to attempt a small parody of my own. And so I present for your consideration Dear Reader a humble offering which I entitle…
The Musings of a Gimp after Watching Cyrano De Bergerac By Dennis Gray
Lightly I walked ‘cross the boards that day
To fasten my work to the backstage wall
Not seeing the black hole that lay in my way
That soon would become the site of my fall.
A snap of a tendon, the slap of my heel,
A shriek of pain and a retching moan.
A shock from my head to my toes I feel,
Then comes a brand new refrain – I’m stuck home!
My foot in a cast, my heart in a sling
I hobble, I stumble, I shuffle, I crawl.
Each day becomes a laborious thing
As each second is marked by the clock on the wall.
A visitor comes! Oh Callooh! Oh Callay!
We talk for a while of the places they roam.
A movie we watch and then – on their way,
And once more the soulful refrain – I’m stuck home!
Outside of my window the traffic flows past
While inside the boredom I try to forestall;
I blog and I email, play hits from the past,
Get beaten in Scrabble by words like ‘quetzal.’
They take me physio – they bend and they stretch
On a modern day rack made of vinyl and chrome.
They say I’m a ‘picture’ – I feel more like a sketch,
Again comes the endless refrain – I’m stuck home!
Dear Friend, think of me, sojourning through trouble
As I ponder a name for this four-wall syndrome
And perhaps you might bring me a large double-double
For yet I still sing the refrain – I’m stuck home!
One of my favourite parts of the Inauguration was this performance of “Air and Simple Gifts“, John Williams’ new “arrangement” for Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration, featuring Itzhak Perlman (violin), Yo Yo Ma (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano) and Anthony McGill (clarinet). What strikes me most about the piece is the incorporation of “Lord of the Dance” one of my favorite Celtic Christian melodies. I cannot help but wonder if it is a deliberate connection to Obama’s professed faith, or did Williams simply like the Celtic melody.
Here’s the video from YouTube. I love how much Yo Yo Ma is obviously enjoying the experience.
For those of you who may not be familiar with the piece “Lord of the Dance” was quite popular in contemporary Christian circles in the late sixties/early seventies. It was written by Sydney B. Carter, a freelance British writer and broadcaster. He wrote the lyrics which tell the basic story of the life of Jesus using dance as a metaphor for the gospel message. The lyrics were original written by Carter, but the melody is a variation on a 19th century Shaker tune that Carter adapted for the hymn. He has three other contemporary hymns to his credit.I’ve always liked the piece because of its use of metaphor in representing the Gospel.
Hearing the primary message of Jesus’ ministry presented in other ways has always appealed to me because it causes one to look at the gospel in other ways, helping to broaden and deepen our appreciation of its universal appeal.
Another wonderful example of this is Calvin Miller’s ‘Singer Trilogy.’ in the three volumes Miller presents the story of Jesus as an epic poem telling the story of the Troubadour, who has been called to sing the ancient Star Song, and pays the ultimate price for doing so. The three volumes in the trilogy are ‘The Singer’ which presents the story of the gospels, ‘The Song’ a representation of the Book of Acts, and ‘The Finale’ which explores the imagery of the book of Revelation. I highly recommend it to anyone, but especially to those who appreciate epic poetry and stories.
I present for your consideration as you listen to “Air and Simple Gifts” a second or third time, the lyrics to “Lord of the Dance”
I danced in the morning when the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun,
And I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth,
At Bethlehem I had my birth.
Refrain Dance, then, wherever you may be; I am the Lord of the Dance, said he. And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be, And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.
I danced for the scribe and the Pharisee,
But they would not dance and they would not follow me;
I danced for the fishermen, for James and John;
They came to me and the dance went on. Refrain
I danced on the sabbath when I cured the lame,
The holy people said it was a shame;
They whipped and they stripped and they hung me high;
And they left me there on a cross to die. Refrain
I danced on a Friday and the sky turned black;
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back;
They buried my body and they thought I’d gone,
But I am the dance and I still go on. Refrain
They cut me down and I leapt up high,
I am the life that’ll never, never die;
I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he. Refrain