Posted by: BART Station Bard | April 11, 2012

I Ain’t A-Marching Any More

I tweeted from the acupuncture table yesterday. Which I realize sounds dippy beyond belief, but there it is. To spin out this granola theme even farther, it started from meditation class. We had a substitute teacher who really rocked, and it was a rainy day, so only two of us showed up. We ended up experimenting with different practices and having a really cool discussion in between, and I left in a state of mind that led in the end to the germ of the next song I’ll be writing.

In particular, this quote from the text we’re using is the catalyst:

“Agitated, restless feelings are like muddy water, which becomes still and transparently clear when left to stand. As our emotional reaction naturally subsides, mind and body become peaceful and balanced.”
        —Hidden Mind of Freedom – Tarthang Tulku
       
I had a few hours till my acupuncture appointment, I guess it was my mystical spa day. So I stopped off at the kitchen before I left the institute and made myself a cup of ginger tea to take with and walked down through the UC Berkeley campus. It was raining still, and I took my time. I wanted to see trees, and the campus delivered. I found a little redwood grove next to one of the creeks and practiced a bit on the songs I’ve been learning lately. Since all I have is a voice and a drum, things have to be changed to fill in where the instruments would go. And trees make a great audience. I owe the grove a good cleaning, the Mother always aims me at the trash that needs to go, but I’ll come back next week with a plastic bag…

The acupuncture table is a great place to let stuff come to me. I kinda have to lie there and not move much for close on an hour, with swimmy music on. And that meditation session was still working on me, as well as the music. One of the songs I’m working on at the moment is Great Big Sea’s version of Over the Hills and Far Away. There are so many versions of that song and they updated that for the Afghan War. I’m of two minds about that. It’s good, and the soldiers deserve a good modern version, but I kept thinking about that muddy water. And the booted feet stirring the dust, clouds of it till we couldn’t see the way back to peace.

The dust raised by the booted feet of those who march to war must settle before we can see to set our feet once more on the path to peace.

And so it goes on. There must be an end. I need to rewrite that song. Our brave sons and daughters are needed. They have to have a future where they don’t have to kill each other, and they’re the ones who have to make it. I’m the idiot who has to stand on the hill and make the song that shows my vision of the way. So the chorus is rough still, but as it is now, goes:

O’er the hills and o’er the fern
Our sons and daughters will return
All soldiers coming home to stay
Over the hills and far away

Verses to come.

May it be so.

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