Wednesday, September 06, 2006

song for the soul returning

My friend and teacher, Dr. Maureen O'Keefe z''l*, was the first Chair of the Counseling Department at Bastyr University, beginning when it was still a College. She taught solid counseling skills to a generation of medical students, but of all the courses she taught, my favorite by far was an Advanced Workshop in Esoteric Healing that she did over a weekend in a luxurious home right on the shore of Lake Sammamish. A few of the workshop syllabus items: Clearing Thoughtforms with the Soul Star; Singing and Chanting; Radiating Soul Energy in The Healing Process; Miasm, Constitutional Pictures, and the Personality Ray.

Maureen died peacefully in her sleep earlier this year, at her home in Colorado. On Sunday we'll be gathering together on campus to honor and remember her big deep laugh, x-ray insight, and all the amazing things she gave us and taught us.

As I read through my copies of poems and songs and prayers she gave us, I'm listening to a song that she loved, that we'll play on Sunday:

Leonard Cohen (kd lang's version)

I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
Well, it goes like this: the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Well, your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and cut your hair
And from your lips she drew Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Baby I've been here before
I've seen this room, and I've walked the floor
I used to live alone before I knew you
But I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Our love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there's a God above
But all I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who out-drew you
It's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not someone who's seen the light
It's a cold and broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallulujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

(these two verses that aren't in kd lang's version are my favorite verses:)

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Here is something else that was in the syllabus packet for Esoteric Healing:

Song for the Soul Returning

~David Wagoner

Without singing, without the binding of midnight,
Without leaping or rattling, you have come back

To lodge yourself in the deep fibers under my heart,
More closely woven than a salmonberry thicket.
I had struck the rocks in your name, but no one answered.
Left empty under the broken wings of Sun,
I had tasted and learned nothing. Now the creek no longer

Falters from stone to stone with a dead fishtailing
But bursts like the ledges of dawn, East Wind and West Wind
Meet on the hillside, and the softening earth
Spreads wide for my feet where they have never dared to go.

Out of the silent holts of willow and hazel, the wild horses,
Ears forward, come toward us, hearing your voice rise from my mouth.
My hands, whose craft had disappeared, search out each other
To shelter the warm world returning between them.

*z''l is an abbreviation for "zichrono/zichronah l'vracha"--"may his/her memory be for a blessing"

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