C Dm F Em / C Dm C G / C F Dm G / C G F G / C – – –
Twisting, turning paths from without to within Over gravel, soil and roots. Let the time begin For a journey of the soul from brokenness to whole… ness in the Spirit, Come take the labyrinth road.
The journey curves about in the world, in the heart, And the ground below is rough or is smoothed by art. Moving body, moving soul from brokenness to whole… ness in the Spirit, Come take the labyrinth road.
No promises on the way for insight or inspiration Just a time to step away for peaceful contemplation, For a journey of the soul from brokenness to whole… ness in the Spirit, Come take the labyrinth road.
First one leads, then one follows One aids, and one seeks aid. In the story of friendship You and I have made. But you’ve taken the lead this season And I cannot keep pace To the banks of the River Jordan, To your crossing place.
There’s a time for work and progress, There’s a time for rest and play, But this time to say farewell to you: I’d have asked for a later day.
We shared in joys and sorrows. We put our hands to the plow. There were times of heartfelt sharing: May they comfort us now. As you walk to the bank of Jordan, As you near your crossing time, My tears flow with reason, My grief has so many rhymes.
There’s a time to plant and nourish, There’s a time to harvest and store, But I’m lost in this time of farewell. I’d have asked for a little time more.
Bright days and thunder sounding, Our minds at work to shape words Telling others’ stories as sweetly As ever a story was heard. As you make your crossing of Jordan, Don’t linger, my friend, for me. You can lay aside life’s burden. In the crossing, my friend, you’re free.
You can lay aside life’s burden. In the crossing, be free.
There’s a time to live and to flourish, There’s a time to shed life’s shell. Though I could have asked for later, my friend: Aloha o’e – fare well.
I try to avoid patting myself on the back in public – but if I don’t, what is social media for?
For some years I have chosen to follow two parallel disciplines each Lent. One is a fairly straightforward decision to refrain from something during the forty-six days of the season (I include the Sundays for this). I’ve given up fast food, beer, soda, computer games, and similar kinds of things (though never coffee – never coffee). I have almost never been able to successfully repeat one of these, so I generally have to choose something new and different each year.
The second discipline, on the other hand, is to take something on. I’ve followed exercise programs and prayer cycles. Frequently I’ve done creative projects with photography or poetry. In fact, my weekly Lection Prayers are an outgrowth of one Lenten season. I simply kept going with them.
This year I set a goal I was not certain I could achieve. I decided to write a song each week of Lent.
Although my repertoire of compositions has expanded greatly over the years, the truth is that I don’t write songs all that often. I was astonished when I counted the songs I’d written in 2021 and came up with a dozen. For me, songwriting requires a good deal more time, concentration, and focus than most other writing projects. I have and do write to deadlines, but I generally prefer to follow some kind of inspiration when it comes to music. I usually am happier with the results.
To set a goal for songwriting which is half my output in the previous year – in six weeks – well. I wasn’t sure I could do it.
I did give myself some space. I did not insist that each song be composed within an assigned week. All I required was that there be six songs by the end of the season. Nor did I impose any subjects or themes on them. The songs would be what they were, and they could fit into the sacred or the secular as it came along. I also knew I’d write one anyway: I’ve made a habit for a few years now of writing something for Easter. Still. Six songs in six weeks?
Friends, I did it. And… all six have now been performed and are available on YouTube.
I wrote this song in the fall of 2018, when a number of conversations turned to a wish for Jesus to come along and start to flip some tables. I expected it to be a rousing, even raucous anthem: but it turned to lament.
They’re changing money in the temple, Jesus. They’re not giving full value for each coin. They’re changing money in the temple, Jesus. They’ve turned a house of prayer… Into a house of thieves…
What are you going to do about it, Jesus? The gold is piled high… What are you going to do about it, Jesus? Do you see where the gold… lies?
They’re piling money in the towers, Jesus. They won’t even pay the builders their full coin. They’re piling money in the towers, Jesus. They’ve given all that power… Into the hands of thieves…
[Chorus] Listen… to the gold lies. Listen… to the golden lies.
We’ve exchanged our priests for tycoons, Jesus. We’ve given our worship to the coin. We’ve traded priests for tycoons, Jesus. We’ve given our allegiance… To generations of thieves…
What are you going to do about it, Jesus? The gold is piled high… What are you going to do about it, Jesus? Or the tables, where the gold… lies?
Flip the tables: the gold… flies! Toss the tables, Jesus. Make the gold… fly!
Once a young ‘apapane learned to sing (which is not unusual).
He grew up to sing with his family, with his friends, and with pretty much any other ‘apapane around. They liked to sing to each other in the trees as they sought the nectar from ohi’a lehua.
Singing just made this little bird feel good. Hearing the songs of the other birds around him made him feel even better. He wasn’t alone. He wasn’t forgotten. He was part of a flock, and they loved and cared for each other as they sang.
As ‘apapane go, he was an adventurous one. He would fly some distance away just to see what was there. He wanted to see new things, and discover new things, and (of course) going to a different part of the forest helped him find ohi’a that was in blossom.
The rest of the flock liked it when he’d explore, and they liked it when he came back, because he often could lead them to the next stand of trees bearing the bright red blossoms that sustained them.
One day, though, he went farther than usual. He was gone far longer than he’d been before, and while he was gone, the other ‘apapane realized they had to move on. The lehua on their stand of trees were going to seed. Making the best guess at the direction he’d taken, they set out after him.
They guessed wrong. Where he flew mauka, up the mountain, they flew makai, toward the lower slopes. They were sure he’d catch up, or they’d find him. But they didn’t.
When he made his long flight back to the ohi’a grove he’d left that morning, he found himself alone.
Sitting in the last tree with fading flowers, he felt very sorry for himself. He took a sip of the last nectar, and munched on some incautious insects, but mostly he felt alone. He opened his beak to make a sound something like a sob. It was a very sad noise.
In a moment, though, it shifted, because all his life he’d sung the ‘apapane song. His lungs and throat and beak all took that shape, purely by reflex, and he began to sing. He sang solo, no other ‘apapane replied, but in the song he realized that he still carried the ‘apapane music with him. His flock was with him, even if he had no idea where they were. They were with him in the song.
He carried on singing until he fell asleep.
The next day, he made a guess at which way the flock had flown, and they made another guess about where they might find him. They’d fly, and settle in the trees, and sing the ‘apapane tune. This time, good fortune was on the wing. He heard them first (there were more of them to hear, after all), but they soon heard his merry reply.
And so they sang once more together.
There is always something connecting us. Sometimes it’s a song, sometimes it’s a feeling. Always, though, it’s love – aloha – that links even people who are very far apart. Even when it seems that we’re at our loneliest, there is always someone who loves you, and best of all, there is always God who loves us best.
The video comes from the American Bird Conservancy’s YouTube channel.