Thursday, October 26, 2006

Girl Friday: Waking the Witch

Pardon me while I take a moment to indulge my Anglophelia.

On my way out the door in the morning I usually stop by the cd collection to see what I need to take with me. Typically I know just what I'm looking for, I grab it, and off I go.

Not yesterday. Ringing in the back of my mind were the words "...but it's the only thing you listen to" -- something someone said making polite fun of the bluegrass I had going in the car at the time. Those words must have been floating around when I approached my collection, because I found the selection baffling me some. And then I settled on my dear old familiar, Kate Bush.

Some readers know this extraordinary talent. She has an enormous vocal range, frighteningly direct and hauntingly beautiful songwriting style, plays any number of instruments. She was born to create music. By the time Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour first came in contact with her at the age of 16, Kate had already penned 200 songs. She has been recording since she was 19 years old.

Kate has a new album out, entitled Arial. I should probably have it. But for now, and in the spirit of the hallowed eve season, I grabbed Hounds of Love. (Ok, true, Wuthering Heights would have made an excellent choice as well, but I think I only had that on a tape and Shiva only knows where it is.) It features a song cycle of sorts in the theatrical style that's become one of the hallmarks of her songwriting. From the 6th track on, the listener is drawn into a storyline about a woman lost, "under ice", in the water, far away from consciousness as she slumbers or hovers near death. We are along for the journey with the subject in her encounters with themes and experiences in this "in between" place. Ultimately we are reminded that we are connected through time through the lines of blood and the fact that we all were born of the water, albeit many millions of years ago.

This song, "Jig of Life," does a good job of capturing that message. I fell in love with this song, with the sheer energy of it, in college. It threw in everything I loved about Celtic music and to some degree, it's theology. Now as an older, middle-aged woman, I hear it differently but am as emboldened as I was some 20 years ago when I listened with the ears of a young student of divination. Had I a proper teacher, or paid attention to the many messages I received back then either from my gut intuition or some other place, my life might have turned out differently.

Now I believe that the only way to predict one's future is to live it. But within each of us lies a certain power of divination -- a degree of direction and energy that compels us forward to fulfilling our potential. I am bewitched by the power of human potential in all of us, and believe it is in fact up to us, rather than some crystal ball or astrological dictum, to realize it.

But we must never forget the past, our mistakes, or our roots in the process. All that's gone before contains so many of the clues to our personal mysteries.

Unravel yours today.

Jig of Life
Hello, old lady.
I know your face well.
I know it well.
She says,[Ooh-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na!]
"I'll be sitting in your mirror.
Now is the place where the crossroads meet.
Will you look into the future?"

Never, never say goodbye
To my part of your life.
No, no, no, no, no!
Let me live!"

She said "C'mon and let me live, girl!"
She said,"C'mon and let me live, girl!"
"This moment in time,"
(She said.)
It doesn't belong to you,"
(She said,)
"It belongs to me,
And to your little boy and to your little girl,
And the one hand clapping:
Where on your palm is my little line,
When you're written in mine
As an old memory?
[Ooh, na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na]
"Never, never say goodbye
To my part of your life.
Oh no, no, no, no, no!
Never, never, never!Never, never let me go!"

She said,
"C'mon and let me live, girl!'

[Long powerful instrumental here--lots of fiddling with crooked turns and other good stuff]

I put this
I put this
I put this moment--

"Over here!"
Over here!
Can't you see where memories are kept bright?
Tripping on the water like a laughing girl.
Time in her eyes is spawning past life,
One with the ocean and the woman unfurled,
Holding all the love that waits for you here.
Catch us now for I am your future.
A kiss on the wind and we'll make the land.
Come over here to where
When lingers,
Waiting in this empty world,
Waiting for Then, when the lifespray cools.
For Now does ride in on the curl of the wave,
And you will dance with me in the sunlit pools.
We are of the going water and the gone.
We are of water in the holy land of water
And all that's to come runs in
With the thrust on the strand."


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