Funny how listening to your life changes the songs you sing to yourself...

I have been thinking of this quote from Fredrick Buechner for the past month...

Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace...

That if you keep your eye peeled to it and your ears open, if you really pay attention to it… your life will open you up to extraordinary vistas. Taking your children to school and kissing your wife goodbye. Eating lunch with a friend. Trying to do a decent day’s work. Hearing the rain patter against the window. There is no event so common place but that God is present within it, always hiddenly, always leaving you room to recognize him or not… but all the more fascinatingly because of that… And if I were called up to state in a few words the essence of everything I was trying to say it would be: listen to your life.

And as I listen to my life, I realize the song I am singing deep within has changed.  For the past 20 years, when I am most quiet and present, I have found myself singing and playing "Reason to Believe" from Springsteen's minimalist masterpiece, "Nebraska."

This song used to be my inner theme - my deepest sense of reality - namely that at the end of every hard earned day (despite the sorrow and disappointment) people STILL find some reason to believe.

But now,  truth be told, in good times and bad when I am fully present the song I hear myself listening to and singing is Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me, Al" - especially verse three (although I love 'em all) - in which the master sings:

A man walks down the street,
It's a street in a strange world.
Maybe it's the Third World.
Maybe it's his first time around.
He doesn't speak the language,
He holds no currency.
He is a foreign man,
He is surrounded by the sound, sound ....
Cattle in the marketplace.
Scatterlings and orphanages.
He looks around, around .....
He sees angels in the architecture,
Spinning in infinity,
He says, Amen! and Hallelujah!

I, too, see angels in the architecture and sing: Hallelujuah!


Black Pete said…
Baba O'Reilly for me.
"I don't need to fight,
to prove I'm right.
I don't need to be forgiven."
RJ said…
What a great song...

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