Disastrous and Sublime

See lyrics below

Steph Drouin and Paul Barton singers

Paul Barton percussion

Song Notes

Music by Laurence Cole.  This song was inspired by a quote from Barry Lopez, a writer of numerous books on his explorations and deep experience of the wild and natural world, among them Arctic Dreams.  He spoke of the great pleasure and privilege he feels when in the presence of indigenous elders who exemplify the central value of their cultures by “living in the heart of every moment they find themselves in, disastrous and sublime.”   I thought about how it’s only possible to find myself by finding the heart of the moment, which is the felt sense of interconnected and interdependent relatedness with all that is.  The moment is a living reality, with a vast heart that holds all diversity in a unified web of connection and mutual flourishing.  I thought of some words I heard Jungian psychotherapist and author James Hillman speak many years back; “The Self isn’t in community, it is community.”  The phrase, “disastrous and sublime”, seemed appropriate and accurate to my experience of these times, as I navigate between perceptions and feelings of a great unravelling and at the same time an intensified capacity to experience the exquisite piquancy of the still vibrant and miraculously beautiful living world.  So this song asks me to lean into these moments, and slip through to the palpable sense of “all my relations.”

How can this create the world we want?  By healing the break in belonging, and rejoining in our natural birthright to hold sacred witness and be held in sacred witness by All That Is.  From this place, there could be no throwaway people, no throwaway creatures, no throwaway air, no throwaway water, no throwaway mountains, grasslands, oceans, forests, rivers, soils.  Everyone would be seen as so much more than the worst thing they’ve ever done, as Bryan Stevenson says.  There would be justice and mercy, generosity and enough for all. and no decisions and resultant actions would be taken without the paramount consideration of the impact such decisions or actions will have on the coming generations of “all our relations.”  We’d be grown people.


Part One:
Live in the heart of every moment you find, disastrous and sublime.

Part Two:
Lean in.  The veil is thin.  All of life is sacred kin.


Individual parts not recorded