Where the Angels Live

Several years ago my friend Lucy Mathews Heegaard invited me to collaborate on an intriguing project: a series of greeting cards each with a music CD inside. The CD would contain one of Lucy’s songs, an instrumental version of the song, and a meditation on its theme. Our mutual friend, nature photographer Julie Marion Brown, would provide the image for the card’s cover.

These two women are among my favorite co-creators, so the answer was a resounding YES!

I was honored to write and record the meditation for “Where the Angels Live.” The song is a series of simple, powerful questions that illuminate the mysterious territories between living and dying.

You can hear Lucy and her daughter, Sarah, singing it here – along with many of Julie’s beautiful images. https://vimeo.com/58905906

Here is the meditation I created.

The countless blessings of your life
are waiting for you to call them by name.
The mere fact that you are here on Earth — breathing, alive, now —

is a confounding miracle.

Life itself conspired to bring you here,
to fill your body with life force,
to drench your senses with beauty,
to swell your heart with delight.

Life loves you.
You are no accident.
And you are not alone.
You came here to fall madly in love with life in its myriad forms:
river, oak, fox, raspberry, crow, baby, granite, rain, mountain.

The air is happy to be breathed by you.
All of the water in your body once flowed in great rivers.
and your tears are cousins to the singing seas
Your bones are made of stardust that has traveled the universe since the dawn of time.

Of course, you forget this.
We all do.
We dwell in a sea of mystery that is so immense, so extravagant
we can’t perceive it.
But now and again, it is good — very good —
to remember how close, how magnificent, how outrageous
these wonders are.
To notice your perfect place in creation.
It is not far away.
In fact, it is so close you can’t see it.
Unless you look.

So look, look!
Welcome the wonder.

Every time you look, you will see.
Every time listen, you will hear.
Every time you remember who you are,
where you are
the wonder blooming in and around and through
you will never stop.

You can hear me read it here: https://soundcloud.com/barbara-mcafee/meditation-on-where-the-angels-live

Julie posts a daily photo and quote on her Tumblr site: http://www.julesofnature.tumblr.com.

About Barbara McAfee

Barbara is a voice coach, singer/songwriter, keynote speaker, and author who merges lessons from 12 years in organization development with the transformational power of sound. Her book, Full Voice: The Art & Practice of Vocal Presence (Berrett-Koehler Publishers) was a #1 Amazon bestseller in Business Communication. The book is based on her 25 years as a voice coach, supporting people from many professions in learning how to access the full power and expression of the voice in service to their work and relationships. Barbara’s musical keynotes blend practical content, sophisticated humor, and thought-provoking questions on topics including voice, leadership, and engagement. She was “the band” for Margaret Wheatley’s Women’s Leadership Revival Tour, which visited 15 North American cities. She also appears with authors Parker Palmer and Peter Block. Barbara has produced seven CD's of mostly original music and is founder of the Morning Star Singers, a volunteer hospice choir in the Twin Cities. She lives across the street from the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
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6 Responses to Where the Angels Live

  1. Marsha Hughes says:

    Absolutely beautiful, and a timely meditation for me.

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Reblogged this on studio-lu and commented:
    Honored that my friend Barbara McAfee agreed to help me with this greeting card project a few years ago. Her interpretation of the message of my song, “Where the Angels Live,” in this spoken word meditation (shared below) was a beautiful addition to the project and a gracious contribution on her part. She also helped me record the musical tracks for each of the three cards in the series, adding piano and harmonies that lifted my melodies and lyrics to their fullest. Deeply touched that she felt moved to write about our collaborative endeavor in this post.

    If you’d like to read more about the greeting card project, and hear snippets of Barbara’s collaboration on other tracks in the series, visit: https://studio-lu.net/cards-by-studio-lu/

  3. This is just… wonderful. Also wonder-full.

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