A Meditation with Richie Havens who passed today.
I’d intended two thoughts today: one a commemoration of those who risk danger in the face of danger, to protect their own; and the other, a muse on how to gather our spirits together, out of the violence, which feeling Richie Havens rang in his anthem song “Freedom” at Woodstock.
“I got a telephone in my front yard, and I call Him up from my heart.”
I was stricken this morning, by news that the mayor of West, Texas is best described as “ashen”. The mayor pro-tem has taken over the ballistics of tactical details as this detonated community arranges religious services and extra class-space for students of the surviving schools, are bomb- blasted.
Ashen ~ blanked, blighted, stunned is an appropriate way to feel no matter which cultural explosion we’re recovering from.
These gals, working the industrial war machine during WWII, raisin’ babes and holding families together during a crisis when the men just weren’t around; wearing oxygen masks for tasks in a global war-zone is a significant symbol of where/how life could go in a new global apocalypse.
What I have in mind is not merely recovery, but a capacity in freedom of thought and action to flow forward in spiritual strength, one peculiar human bird at a time, triangulated into our flocks, yes, but always singular in our spirit-intentions.
In “Follow”, Richie Havens wrote a keynote to this week of devastating spring:
“The rising smell of fresh cut grass
smothered cities choke and yell with fuming gas.”
And continued to:
“And close your fingertips and fly where I can’t hold you
Let the sun-rain fall and let the dewy clouds enfold you
And maybe you can sing to me the words I just told you,
If all the things you feel ain’t what they seem.
And don’t mind me ‘cos I ain’t nothin’ but a dream.
The mocking bird sings each different song
Each song has wings – they won’t stay long.
Do those who hear think he’s doing wrong?
While the church bell tolls its one-note song
And the school bell is tinkling to the throng.
Come here where your ears cannot hear.”
Let the River Rock you, Mr.Havens.
Fly through fastly, feathered skies to your sun, recovering from life.
Namaste, Richie Havens.