Somewhere Not Far from Here

It is a foggy morning in Bayfield, Wisconsin. I am visiting dear friends in their home overlooking Lake Superior. Before I am fully awake, I amble to the piano with my first cup of coffee in hand. I sit down and begin noodling around on the black keys, attempting to capture the deep, cool spirit of the morning, the lake, the fog.

My song, “Somewhere Not Far from Here,” was born in that sweet place. I never play it without returning to that moment with gratitude.

Somewhere not far from here
There is a song so clear
Inside the silence I sometimes can hear it
Anthem outside of time
Sung without word or rhyme
Taking me back to a place I remember
Song of such beauty
What you bring to me
Yearning, impossible yearning

Music is a form of travel. A song can instantly transport us back us to another time – a childhood campfire, a horrible date, a beautiful sunset shared with a friend. We can visit places we’ve never seen by listening – or better yet – singing songs from that place. And music carries us into the realms of mystery if we let it – if we soften into the sound, breathe it into our bones and let go….

Somewhere not far from here
There is so much to fear
The light all around me creates such deep shadow
Mother of Mystery
Darkness falls over me
Taking me down to a place I must go to
Song of such beauty
What you bring to me
Learning, indelible learning

Music opens us to the depths. It can carry us into the places we are reluctant to go, terrifying terrain that we must traverse in order to heal. It can open us to our tears, the kind that leaves the eyes scrubbed and the heart more at ease. There are songs that walk beside us in the darkness, silent companions that assure us that there is beauty available to us even here if we are willing to perceive it.

Somewhere not far away
Those who have passed away
Witness my living with eyes of compassion
This brief dance in space and time
Drenched in five senses
I’m holding the living flame here in this body
Life of such beauty
What you bring to me
Burning, unquenchable burning

Every day I think of my beloved ones who no longer walk on this earth. Their presence in my life is palpable. Each cardinal reminds me of Dad. I use Jim’s sweet word, “beauty-full” in response to something lovely. Lucy is with me when I sweep the floor and I wear Jamie’s good-time hat to carry his love of life into my adventures. Jack’s words live on in one song and Angie’s in another.

These “hauntings” rarely bring sadness. Instead I feel a sense of companionship that reaches beyond this world. Music reminds me that my love remains beautifully tangled up with these souls wherever they may be…. somewhere not far from here.

You can listen to the song here.

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.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Somewhere Not Far from Here

  1. Julie Davis Carran says:

    Haunting and beautiful, Barbara. With love, Julie

    Julie Davis Carran cell: 914-522-3793


  2. Heather says:

    Absolutely gorgeous Barbara! It stirred my soul just in the way it needed this morning. See you soon at Esalen! 💜

    Sent from my iPhone with love


  3. Ah, I needed to hear that this morning, darlin’. One of my favorites, thanks for posting it.

  4. Lois Albrecht says:

    Lovely! And sweet that it’s Bayfield-inspired. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s