There are two in this abbey
and infinitely more, a community
crammed with life’s music, given to
silent observation, contemplation,
for answers, but equally as nurtured
when the heart’s door opens
to mystery; either way, stillness
flows to dialogue and waves back
to stillness; life is offered our trust
and a deeper gaze, no darting look
and look away that fears reflection’s scrutiny:
We see life as she is. We welcome her song,
to the beating hearts of dogs at our feet,
of cats in our lap, and birds at the feeder, the
buzzing hearts of bees, of wasps, their tasks,
and fish in the river, beating through water,
through mud and tadpoles, and the beating
of squirrels in trees, and insects burrowed
beneath the bark of trees, the tiny beating
hearts of mice, and rapid tapping of butterflies,
bold cracking, flashing beats of fire, the sweet
and slower beats of rainfall, snail, and compost,
soft snowflake’s heart, so gently beating, moon,
and milkweed seed; the diva beat of dawn’s
heart, the hushing beat of dusk, its breath,
the beating hearts of clouds and leaves,
of gardens, our sustenance beating,
and grasses waving, beating the wind,
a choir of pulsing life meets where we’re
life’s music constantly singing out
all the ways the world loves us.
We were young and shallow once,
and wasted thought, and gift, and time;
we didn’t hold the beating world
beside our tender, beating hearts,
I know; how grateful then, my
weary self, to still and fall
and rise with yours as vowed
life’s music beating through us
in this time of cloistered wonder,
we two in this abbey, we two
and infinitely more,
to all the ways
the world loves us.
© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.
I wanted to share this link to a You Tube interview that will air live on November 12. Luis Herrera, the beloved and lauded retired City Librarian of San Francisco Public Library, and current Board Member for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, interviewed me about my book, And the People Stayed Home. The program is part of the Nature Boost series conducted and sponsored by the San Francisco Library System in partnership with the Golden Gates National Parks Conservancy, Herrera also serves as a Board Member of the Conservancy. The Nature Boost series is a wonderful resource for parents, teachers, readers, and Earth-lovers of all ages. I am grateful to the gifted San Francisco Librarian, Christy Estrovitz for coordinating, recording, and posting the interview. She and Luis are amazing people.
And here are links to a recorded Zoom session introducing the Social Distancing album by the Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet, and to their Kickstarter campaign to fund the album’s production. This band has been creating critically-acclaimed Afro-Peruvian jazz for 15 years, and they have a unique and wonderful relationship with their fans, who participate in the funding of albums, and are invited to co-create with the band. This album features the band’s bassist, Mario Cuba’s haunting piece, And the People Stayed Home, and the band invited me to contribute voice-over’s of the poem in English and Spanish.
This album’s cover features a multi-part illustration of over 150 fans who shared their photos: very cool! The band also conducts annual tours to Peru with a limited group of fans who have chosen the opportunity to become immersed in Peruvian culture and learn from and about her people…on their tours, Gabriel and the band’s talented musicians share valuable time with student musicians eager to learn from professionals.
They are amazing artists and servant leaders. The tours, live performances, and teaching have all been curtailed by Coronavirus, as have the offerings of so many artists, but the band offers live virtual concerts and will debut this album on November 27. I’ve really been enjoying the live concerts I’ve attended during our lockdown! Beautiful people; amazing artists.
Finally, a Happy Halloween and a very happy Halloween Full Blue Moon! Full Moons on Halloween only happen once every 19 years; Full Blue Moons (the second Full Moon in a month) also occurring on Halloween only visit the planet once every 76 years!
My Celtic ancestors believed the veil between the world of the living and the dead was thin this time of year, that spirits traveled more freely between worlds…which led to beliefs, traditions, and practices we continue to integrate and transmute into our lives, or that were appropriated and translated for us. I never really feel separated from my loved ones who have died, but celebrate their lives, our love, and our eternal connection more deliberately during these sacred days when we’re invited to hold all souls and all saints in our awareness. We need to connect with the presence of their wisdom, blessing, and light more than ever, in my lifetime.
Blessings on the days ahead; they will be life-changing for many of us. May the ways the world loves us, the ways the Sacred loves us, speak to our hearts, offering comfort, wisdom, and peace.
Be safe and well.