I rarely listen to music, but one piece I love is I Giorni by the Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi. The story and song behind the composition makes it all the more hauntingly beautiful.
“One evening some time ago, at Bamako in Mali, I was driving through the town with the musician Toumani Diabate. It was hot. We had the radio on and at one point they broadcast a song. A gentle song which was slightly melancholy.
Whilst Toumani was driving he told me that this was one of the oldest and best loved songs of the Mande repertoire, which dates back to the twelfth century, called Mali Sajio. The song tells the story of a hippopotamus, who lived at the crossing of two rivers and was much loved by the inhabitants of a nearby village, who looked after him. But one day the hippopotamus was killed by a hunter.
The song is sung as a lament for the death of a king or a great person or for the loss of a loved one.” – from the CD insert.
The first time I read this description, I burst into tears stunned by the loss of this great animal. At the same time, the story evoked the beauty of right-relationship to the web of life – our interconnection with everything, everywhere. Then, remembering our twenty-first century widespread loss of connection with nature, a bittersweet quality prevailed.
Everything comes from nature: the air we breath, the water we drink, the food we eat. Even our ability to create synthetics depends upon nature. Unless we remember and honor our interconnectedness to all of life, we will not survive as a species.
I feel a longing to live in synchronicity with nature and in recognition of the magnificent web of life.
The place where I live in Hawai’i is called “home of the owl (pueo).” I’ve been fortunate to site the pueo’s white and brown streaked body and broad wingspan three times now, during the daytime when they are sometimes active unlike other owls. I hope this is a sign that I am moving in the right direction.
The pueo is on decline on Oahu where massive urban development make it difficult for the bird to find the open green spaces it requires. This makes me wonder if my dream is only a fantasy as we collectively edge out yet another species.
Do you feel connected or disconnected from the web of life? How do you connect with the web of life?
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