Music for the New Year

Music and Poetry for the New Year!

Music and poetry can move us in ways so mysterious, all we know is we feel better after hearing it…

A few of my personal favorites To Start the Day…

“Your Are the New Day” by the King’s Singers

“When You Wish Upon A Star” by Linda Rondstadt

“My Favorite Things” scene in Sound of Music sung by Julie Andrews

“Zip-A-Dee–Doo-Dah” with Uncle Remus

Some Favorite Poems and Verses from the
National Cathedral New Years’ Retreat…

Let us not look back in anger
Nor forward in fear,
But around in awareness.
by James Thurber

I will be truthful.
I will suffer no injustice.
I will be free from fear.
I will not use force.
I will be of good will to all.
by Mahatma Gandhi

In the Middle of the Road
In the middle of the road there was a stone
there was a stone in the middle of the road
there was a stone
in the middle of the road there was a stone.

Never should I forget this event
in the life of my fatiqued retinas.
Never should I forget that in the middle of the road
there was a stone
there was a stone in the middle of the road
in the middle of the road there was a stone.
by Carlos Drummond de Andrade (trans by Elizabeth Bishop)

QUESTION: What are some of the stones in the road that you experienced this past year?

The Place I Want to Get Back To
is where
in the pinewoods
in the moments between
the darkness

and first light
two deer
came walking down the hill
and when they saw me
they said to each other, okay,
this one is okay,
let’s see who she is
and why she is sitting

on the ground like that,
so quiet,as if
asleep, or in a dream,
but, anyway, harmless;

and so they come
on their slender legs
and gazed upon me
not unlike the way

I go out to the dunes and look
and look and look
into the faces of the flowers;
and then one of them leaned forward

and nuzzled my hand, and what can my life
bring me that could exceed that brief moment?
For twenty years

I have gone every day to the same woods,
not waiting, exactly, just lingering,
Such gifts, bestowed,
can’t be repeated.

If you want to talk about this
come to visit. I live in the house
near the corner, which I have named
Gratitude.
by Mary Oliver from “Thirst”

Celebration
Brilliant, this day – a young virtuoso of a day.
Morning shadow cut by sharpest scissors,
deft hands. And every prodigy of green -
whether it’s ferns or lichens or needles
or impatient points of buds on spindly bushes -
greener than ever before. And the way the conifers
hold new cones to the light for the blessing,
a festive right, and sing the oceanic chant the wind
transcribes for them!
A day that shines in the cold
like a first-prize brass band swinging along
the street
of a coal-dusty village, wholly at odds
with the claims of reasonable gloom.
by Denise Levertov from “This Great Unknowing Last Poems”

Otherwise
I got out of bed
on two strong legs,
It might have been
otherwise, I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless peach. It might
have been otherwise,
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise,
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.
by Jane Kenyon from “Otherwise”

QUESTION: What are some special moments, people, places last year – or in your life – you’ll always cherish?

The Poet’s Occasional Alternative
I was going to write a poem
I made a pie instead. It took
about the same amount of time
of course the pie was a final
draft. A poem would have had some
distance to go. Days and weeks and
much crumpled paper

the pie already had a talking
tumbling audience among small
trucks and a fire engine on
the kitchen floor

everybody will like this pie
it will have apples and cranberries
dried apricots in it. Many friends
will say  why in the world did you
make only one

This does not happen with poems

Because of unreportable
sadness I decided to
settle this morning for a re-
sponsive eatership. I do not
want to wait a week  a year  a
generation for the right
consumer to come along
by Grace Paley from “Begin Again: Collected Poems”

The Goose
Do you want to know why I am alive today?
I will tell you.
Early on, during the food shortage,
Some of us were miraculously presented
Each with a goose that laid a golden egg.
Myself, I killed the cackling thing and I ate it.
Alas, many and many of the other recipients
Died of gold-dust poisoning.
by Muriel Spark from “All the Poems of Muriel Spark”

QUESTIONS: Think back on choices you have made this year… Was there a time you chose immediate gratification over delayed gratification or vice versa?… Was there a time when you made an unconventionalor creative choice?

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