A Song to Sing, A Life to Live

A Song to Sing, A Life to Live (cover image)

A Song to Sing, A Life to Live: Reflections on Music as Spiritual Practice by Don Saliers and Emily Saliers (2005) San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Book review by Lucinda DeWitt

An inspiring book about music and its ability to stir our souls. Beginning with their own stories as musicians (Emily as half of the folk-duo the Indigo Girls, Don as a well known church musician and theologian), the father-daughter Saliers explore music as a spiritual practice. Their discussion/conversation includes: the bodily and sensory experience of music, music across the lifespan, how music can bring us together as well as divide us, how music shapes our identity, music’s role in grieving, and music’s role in work for social justice. The spiritual aspect of music is woven throughout these topics; different perspectives on spirituality are included.

I truly enjoyed this book. It reminded me why I still consider myself a musician (though I rarely play anymore). I’m inspired to rediscover my own “songline,” the story of who I am as revealed through the music I love.

My only criticism is that sometimes the flow of the writing is uneven, but that is to be expected when two rather different perspectives and voices try to join together. Each individual voice is strong, but together their differences sometimes impinge on the harmony. Still, all in all, the underlying message of the song comes through.

My favorite quotation from the book: “whenever music touches us deeply, the potential for transformation exists. What we think and what we perceive about the world and about ourselves can change. What music calls to your restless heart? Where in music does your soul encounter an aspect of reality that shatters your complacency or your fear?” (p. 174-175)

Strongly recommended.

Copyright © 2010 Lucinda DeWitt

Read-a-thon

Dewey’s Read-a-Thon, April 10, 2010

I’ve signed up to participate in a 24-hour-read-a-thon beginning this Saturday, April 10 at 7 am CDT. I will admit from the outset that, as a person with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I have no intention/hope of staying up for 24 hours reading.  But the website indicates that sleeping is allowed, so I will do my best to read-nap-read-nap, etc.

My goal is to work through my huge pile of “currently reading” books and perhaps some of The New Yorker pile as well (have to check the rules on books vs. magazines).

Check back here for updates on my progress . . . (the idea is to read & then blog about it).

I’ll let you decide which of these images best represents your image of me during the read-a-thon 🙂


 

A. Easy Chair

B. Multitasking

Read-a-thon Kitchen

C. Kitchen

D. None of the Above