(our group of guests and staff with Emily Saliers ...but don't stop here, read on!)
MOUNTAINTOP EXPERIENCE INDEED.
The mixture of spirit and passion and dedication to justice & peace issues is what has kept me drawn to Indigo Girls lyrics/music/service in the world. And Emily S, really is all that she seems through her work: humble, peace-full, fun and determined.
Through the past week, she has been articulate about how her spiritual core speaks to all that she does - or perhaps how music speaks the language of her spiritual core, as the "music of the spheres" speaks of God. And I have even more respect for her as a human being than I previously had for her music. The way that Emily, her father Don (with whom she led this past week's sessions), and her mother Jane interacted revealed true filia; and the way each of them engaged us as participants aided in the creation of agape, despite the sometimes startling presence of IG "fans" in the group.
One of my favorite memories will be when we climbed to Lake Louise. Emily chose to take the hike despite not having been prepared for such an endeavor (or the ruggedness of this place)... she wore tennis shoes and shared folks' water bottles and bug spray. Yet, regardless of lack of gear and not being acclimated to the elevation, she was at the front of our group of 12 most of the way up, and all the way down. There's just something about the energy of the earth here and the kindness of the people that makes it all doable and desirable.
This has been a true mountaintop experience for me - one I couldn't have ever imagined more beautifully or dreamed could be more sacred.... All of the significant aspects of my life - Spirit-Song-Space-Love - have come together in one place, one time.
This land was sacred to the Shoshone tribe's predecessors, an ancient people who experienced such holiness here that they carved petroglyphs throughout the valley. I can feel Spirit's tug at my body and soul - through the earth and through the communal singing of hymns (new and old) mixed with Indigo Girls songs. Each person now present, from 6 years old to 70-some, hears the call of Spirit in and among each other. And Jamie is here to share it. All I can say is thanks.
I'm sure I'll have more reflections - I just wanted to put these out there as I sit here on the porch of a log cabin, staring across one of the lakes toward the mountain that Jamie is currently climbing with Don Saliers. :)
...and it's not even over yet!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
How many people can say they are lucky enough not only to meet, but spend considerable time with, their hero?
On Sunday I head for a retreat at a ranch in the Wyoming mountains - and Emily Saliers (alongside her dad, Don) will be one of the leaders of a week-long class. I'm not expecting anything phenomenal to change in my life ... her music, lyrics & spirit that come through are what inspire me. But seriously: I never imagined an opportunity to spend time with a person whose work/ministry/existence has touched me and so many others in such a significant way.
I'm curious about the heroes you would have this sort of experience around meeting and spending time with if you could. I can think of a few others who are historical (Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Jesus), but Emily is BY FAR #1 on my list of the living.
Who is yours? _____________
In honor of my appreciation for Emily's music,
here is a (very small) selection of my favorite lyrics:
I wanted everything to feed me.
About as full as I got was of myself
and the upper echelons of mediocrity
(You & Me of the 10,000 Wars)
the president has no good idea who the masses are well i'm one of them and i'm among friends trying to see beyond the fences of our own backyard...if the world is night shine my life like a light (Let It Be Me)
We're better off for all that we let in (All that We Let In)
But they left out the sisters
I been praying to a father god so long I really missed her
The goddess of benevolence
And you should listen to your mama if you have a lick of sense left!
Friday, August 1, 2008
Sometimes we need to be fed.
And of course, feeding is such a symbol-soggy concept. We need food feeding, spiritual feeding, sexual feeding, emotional feeding.
This week's scripture text is one of the "Feeding the 5000" ... one of 6 (!) such stories in the 4 Gospels. And it starts with Jesus trying to get away from it all because he'd just found out cousin John (of baptizing fame) has just been executed. But when the crowds hear about John, they make a beeline for Jesus: they need some feeding.
Did Jesus need to be fed too?
Do you think he sat down and ate with them? Did he get some communal love? Or was he just the caterer, sharing out the dish and staying in the kitchen?