NEW YORK, Dec 9, 2011 - Elizabeth and I were relaxing in the hotel spa, getting ready to turn in early tonight. We have to get up at 5AM tomorrow morning. Which is midnight the day before Hawaiian time. So the last thing on my mind was to do more work. Well, what happened next is another proof that I am not the one driving this boat... I started to hear this beautiful haunting tune. I had no idea what it was. I thought it had something to do with Christmas. Maybe inspired my by "Christmas in New York"-story and video production I created earlier today? (see Dancing Holiday Windows of New York). But to me, it sounded like some ancient Scottish-Celtic tune. I was hearing the bag pipes playing it.
When we came back up to the room, I picked my flute and started playing the tune. Elizabeth was in the shower. I heard her started to hum it. So I knew I was onto something.
When she got out, I asked her what it was. "'Amazing Grace,' of course," evidently amazed that I didn't know.
As for myself, I was amazing how quickly I picked it up on the flute. I consider myself just a novice flutist. But this music just played itself, as if I had played it before in some other lifetime. Thinking, "you strike iron while it's hot," while Elizabeth was still in the bathroom, I turned on my laptop which I had already packed, and started recording the music. Within minutes it was done. I only had to make a few minor adjustments.
The same thing happened when I decided to add the slides from our yseterday's' New York Christmas windows excursion. It went as smoothly as gliding on ice. Within less than 60 minutes (!), I went from sitting in the hotel spa and humming a tune I did not know, to a finished movie. It is being uploaded to Youtube as I write this.
And now, an additional shocker. I just looked up the Mystic Medicine Card that I drew this morning as guidance for the day. You won't believe what it was: GRACE. I kid you not. And its message:
And now, I invite you sit back and enjoy this amazing production of "Amazing Grace." It was evidently divinely inspired and guided. I felt like a mere instrument myself: And that what just happened was a true miracle: Experiencing a state of Grace.
And now, here are the lyrics of Amazing Grace. The verses highlighted in blue are the ones usually sung with the song. One additional curiosity, John Newton, who wrote these lyrics over 200 years ago, had been a sailor on slave ships before he became a true Christian. Wintley Phips claims (see below) that the sounds of this tune coming from the bowels of the slave ships inspired him to write the poem. I don't know if this is a myth or a fact. Sometimes, however, myths are more powerful than facts. One thing is certain, this melody transcends all racial and social differences. Which is why it is sung and embraced by all races.
By John Newton (1725-1807)
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
The Lord has promised good to me.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
When we've been here ten thousand years
HAIKU, Maui, Dec 11 - A friend of mine sent me a link to this video in which Wintley Phipps narrates and performs "Amazing Grace" at Carnegie Hall in New York.
The music starts at about a 5-minute mark.
HAIKU, Maui, Dec 11, 2011 - After we came home from New York last night, I got to work on a "Rainbow Shower (One Man) Band" version of the "Amazing Grace." Here it is. The orchestra sound includes two pianos, two flutes, three Tibetan bowls and a Peruvian shaman's rattle and a special vocal overlay. This mix is my musical gift to you for Christmas. A personal Christmas message video from Elizabeth and I is to follow. A part of is also incorporated here as an Introduction.
And now, a PS. Guess which card I drew today, Sunday, Dec 11, when I asked the Spirit for guidance? I did it after I had already recorded my new "Amazing Grace" rendition.
Yes, it was GRACE again, just as it was on Friday night in New York when that haunting melody first appeared to me. Here was today's message:
Pretty neat, huh? And to top it all off, our Namaka Creek came roaring down the mountain this afternoon like a gusher after an eight-month absence. I was down there in the gulch when it happened. It was an awesome sight. I made a short video which I will post in due course. Goddesses of Water - Namaka and Yemanya - are certainly making their presence felt these days around here.