I have given this blog the tagline “girl on a road” and thought a slight word of explanation might be timely while the blog is new. As is true with many of us, you could say that I have been traveling on a road figuratively and literally for some time now. Viewing the horizon of life through this lens came into focus when my meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy offered me the spiritual name “Sharani” which is the literal word for road in Bengali. I surmised that it was not a coincidence that shortly before receiving this name I had written a poem that ended in the stanza:
God for God’s Sake
No other road
to ignorance death
The figurative aspect of the road travel lies in the context of journeying on a spiritual community or “path” for the last twenty odd years as a student of meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy. I find it fosters unfolding hopes and dreams to become a kinder inhabitant of the planet and a closer friend to God found inside myself and in the world around me.
The literal part lies in the fact that I have also been a girl actually on the road if I stop to ponder some of my far-flung travels and sharing of cultures across the globe. I love to take pictures when on the road and my travel diaries include places such as Singapore, Turkey, England, Bali, Scotland, Malaysia, Paris, Java, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Hawaii and climes closer to home such as Seattle, Chicago, Arizona, Martha’s Vineyard, California, Victoria and Vancouver.
Ferron – called the female Bob Dylan by some and “cowgirl meets Yeats…a thing of beauty” by Rolling Stone – is one of my favorite folksingers and some of the lyrics to her song “Girl on a Road” are calling out to me in this blog post. Just this excerpt alone shows the serious poetry in her lyrics. She is emphatically one of Canada’s crown jewels of folk singing.
I don’t know what it’s like for you but here’s what it’s like for me… I wanted to turn beautiful and serve Eternity and never follow money or love with greasy hands, or move the earth and waters just to make it fit my plans. My eyes would be the harbor, my words the perfect place for a girl on a road…
I did my best to follow the calling of my soul. But, it’s like that first guitar I played…at the center is a hole, at the center is a…longing… that I cannot understand as a girl on a road…
But if music be a boulder, let me carry it a long while. Let it turn into a feather, let it brush against my smile. Let the life be somewhat settled with the life that song has made. Let there be nothing I am longing for in some plan I may have made, in some story quickly written during a long forgotten time as a girl on a road.
Ferron “Girl on a Road” c1994