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A Song is a Summoning - or How I Made a Man Out of a Pile of Books

I was living in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, in an old Victorian brownstone. I was in my late 20’s. My roommate and I lived right across the street from the park that was considered by its designers to be their greatest masterpiece. There was a music pagoda where I would go to dance with ghosts and listen for the voice of my beloved who had yet to reveal himself in this life. One April we had a heavy snowfall and I wandered through the drifts to the pagoda in the late afternoon sun. As I sat there in stillness for a while I heard music coming in from another time and I felt his presence so strongly. I felt as though some meeting place had been assigned and that it was close to the time we had set to rendezvous and find each other again but I didn’t know where or when. I walked home with such a strong prayer on my heart. That night I cuddled down in my bed with all my books and journals. I had started writing songs vey recently. I had also begun to find the writers and teachers and philosophers who thrilled me into a sort of giddiness, stirred sleepy memories and kept me up late, reading through the night. Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, Greek Mythology, Quantum Physics, books on Buddhism and Native American Lore would all be piled on the bed next to me as I soaked in the stories, legends and lore of Wisdom Traditions that had been mostly unknown to me before but were awakening me to the “wonder world of my soul” as Jung describes it. I had read for many hours and grown so sleepy that I was too tired to move all the books to the floor so I just pushed them over to the other side of the bed and snuggled down next to them. As I lay there, I gazed at my bed partner and was suddenly gripped by such a delicious fancy. I grabbed pen and journal and asked the night, “What if I could make a man out of this pile of books?” Then my hand began to write, words pouring forth faster than I could keep up….


Bound


Once

A body of great works

Strewn upon my bed


You slept

Always beside me

Always ready to be read


Never too late for your language

Couldn’t stop before the coming of the third

I was thrilled with your great stories

Sadly, all you had was words…


Rise…

Hero, from the page

I’ll make you from the Ancient, the wise

Rise and see

You’re bound to love me


Amateur alchemist

I was uncertain

Just had this yearning to create

This mother of invention was heedless

Of tampering with fate


Blood and toil and ash and fire

Calling on the powers yet unknown

They said, “ you have to give something up

If you want something of your own.”


Rise…

Hero, from the page

I’ll make you from the ancient, the wise

Rise and see

You’re bound to love me


I didn’t listen to the warnings

This was too dangerous a plan

I was so moved by words

But found that action made the man


So surprised to be alive

He found himself reflected

In my eyes willingly

But I couldn’t keep him from learning

There was more to life than pleasing me


Rise…

Hero, from the page

I made you from the ancient, the wise

Rise and see

I set you free…


And yet you’re bound

Still bound

You are bound

Still bound

You are bound

Always bound …to love me


A song is a summoning, though I did not realize what I had created yet. I poured my longing and my love and playfulness into this. I allowed in the divine help-just let it all come. And then the deeper magic began to unfold in my life. A few incidents occurred that suddenly had me deciding to move to L.A. I packed up all my belongings and sent them off to destination unknown, flew out, found an apartment and a few jobs with no fear. I would get in bed at night giggling into my pillow with some secret that was, as yet, still a secret from me. I went into a guitar store on Sunset Blvd and told the clerk that I wanted to take guitar lessons. Someone walking by heard me and gave me the name and number of their guitar teacher. Some guy with a PHD in jazz guitar named Bryan Clark. After our first lesson as I was walking towards the door-my spirit, my team, my every cell buzzing and dancing with celebration, I stopped to take a look at what this Dr of guitar had on his bookshelf. One after another, shelf upon shelf, was every book that I had slept beside when I wrote this song. My guitar teacher soon revealed himself as mate of my soul, my bridegroom, my husband, father of our children, giver of wings to my music… always my beloved….always bound… to love me.

A song is a summoning.

May we choose to summon love… in all the many guises she wears.

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