Thursday, October 23, 2008

"the Moonpies and the Tang"...

Singer/songwriter, Kate Campbell, performed a benefit concert for the ministries of the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia AND I MISSED IT! Yup. Kate came to our house and spent four days with our community. Her performance Saturday evening (October 11th) was a great success. There are now about 100 new Kate Campbell fans in Northern Virginia. If you hear Kate once, you’re never the same.

Why am I writing about this event several weeks after the fact? Someone who loves me bought me my very own copy of her new CD, “Save the Day.” It was waiting for me on my bed when I arrived back at the convent on Wednesday morning. I put the CD in as soon as I got to the office yesterday and got out the headphones so I could really crank it up (and not cause chaos in the classrooms nearby.)

I fall in love with every album (I still say “album” because I remember records). Each collection is particular – each reflects Kate’s inner life and the things that inspire her on her journey. “I’ve always written stories about people and everyday living,” Kate writes on her website. Maybe this focus on the everyday is what appeals so strongly to a monastic heart. I have used Kate’s music in pastoral settings. As a community we meditated on “In My Mother’s House” during a reconciliation service constructed around the parable of the Prodigal Son. Women in discernment with our community have listened to “The Prayer of Thomas Merton” – a word-for-word setting of Merton’s intimate conversation with GOD. They have been moved by both the timeless words and the beauty of Kate's music.

Most often, I have listened to Kate’s songs alone in the car - she's my traveling companion thanks to my iPod Mini. Some songs make me laugh out loud. "Back to the Moon" suggests that we left the moon "too soon." Musing on a potential journey back, Kate suggests packing "the Moonpies and the Tang." These wonderful references date me, to be sure, and make me smile. Other songs bring refreshing tears. This new collection is already becoming part of me. Favorites? It’s day-2 but I’m pretty sure that “More Than One More Day,” and “Sorrowfree” are engraved on my soul. Ask me next week and there will be others stuck in my bones. These songs are more than music – even more than poetry. They are lectio on life itself. And, if my timing's right, I’ll see Kate on November 6 at “Ashland Tea and Coffee” and thank her in person for the gift of her music in my life and ministry.

Blessings and love to you all...
- Sister Vicki