Monday, November 2, 2009

ancestor's breath

Listen more often to things than to beings
Listen more often to things than to beings
‘Tis the ancestor’s breath when the fire’s voice is heard
‘Tis the ancestor’s breath in the voice of the waters.

Those who have died have never, never left
The dead are not under the earth
They are in the rustling trees
They are in the groaning woods
They are in the crying grass,
they are in the moaning rocks
The dead are not under the earth..
Birago Ishmael Diop (1906-1989) Senegalese poet & storyteller
(above diop's poem as adapted by sweet honey in the rock)

thinking all of the people I love who have passed, I am always comforted by diop's poem and sweet honey's song.

kind thoughts to you and yours today - all souls' day, la toussaint, day of the dead (el día de los muertos)

click here to hear the sweet honey song (unfortunately you only get one listen to the full song, then the site wishes you to purchase it, so, click carefully - unfortunately I can't find a version of this wonderful song on youtube.) the song was released on the album breaths in 1989.

here's another link to the song, I think the listens are unlimited, but it might take a few seconds to load.

photo: detail of an altar from el día de los muertos celebration, cleveland, 2 november 2008

addendum @ 6pm:

a bit of history about the mexican celebration of dia de los muertos that was in an email received today (thanks bob)
November first begins the Dia de los Muertos festivities with All Saints Day in which the deceased children are honored and remembered. November second All Souls Day is for the remembrance of the adult dead. Dia de los Muertos combines these days to celebrate the deceased and enjoy their memories. The spirits of the deceased are thought to pay a visit to their families during Dia de los Muertos and the families prepare an altar for them.


Anonymous said...

if you can find Diop's Tales of Amadou Koumba in English, don't miss them.

best to you, kim.

Roy said...

Ahhhhh! It's always good to hear Sweet Honey in the Rock! And I love the El Dia de los Muertos altar.

tony said...

The Earth Is Alive:Long May It Be So.

willow said...

Beautiful words. Gotta go click on the music...

willow said...

I LOVED this!!! You know I'm all about ancestors. Thanks, Kimy.

Megan said...

Olvera St was PACKED yesterday. :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful words.

Merle Sneed said...

Ditto. We never cease to be part of the universe.

Salty Miss Jill said...

What a beautiful poem. I just got verklempt. :)

Thanks again!


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