One of the keys to healthy culture is the creation of song, poem and story that reflects our values, dreams and visions.

As a cultural creative I have looked to other cultures to get a clue about authentic songs and stories. Songs written from the land, songs with power. Until recently this was a pattern in many places, borrowing songs from other cultures to express the intangible connection to nature that we value so much.

Recently in Vermont and the Art of Mentoring, we put out the high vision that we will become the visionaries and artists again. We will write our own songs, from our direct experience with nature, held by our authentic community.

Three songs were created, by the teen girls, the teen boys and the children.

The song from the girls was about water.

The song from the boys was about fire.

and the song from the children was about the birds and bird language.

The song about fire spread to the west coast, whenever hand made fires were being made. And then to Europe. And recently to Africa. Jon Young went on a special trip to the Kalahari to spend time with the San Bushman and this is the story he told in England this week:

7 replies
  1. Devin Slavin
    Devin Slavin says:

    Mark, I love your opening statement of this post. It reinforces my recent choice to start a regular a poetry and performance night at my place in Santa Cruz – at the fire pit we created during our recent Grow Food Party.

    All of the most powerful periods of my life seem to be when I’m regularly around the fire with music and stories. Surprisingly, the most reliably raw, creative, and fresh expression I’ve experienced came from a poetry-slam in a suburban backyard gathering in Ventura – through which the Grow Food Party Crew was first shared and born! It was unfiltered expression from teens to elders.

    Which leaves me with the question: How can I recreate a space like that at my place? How can I make it inviting for both the young and old and have that raw, full self expression?

    Cheers from Santa Cruz,

    • markmorey
      markmorey says:

      I have no doubt that you can bring the raw fully alive feeling to your poetry and performance night. When I was in art school I created a coffeehouse in my 3rd floor living room apartment (10x15ft)
      We called it the Coffee Clamp. Each week we had a featured performer, a street musician, who played a couple of tunes. We made postcard art and sent it out to our budding mailing list. We served
      fresh coffee and baked goods. Every week the ethic was brand new people can sign up to perform for the very first time. We mixed it up with chocolate chip cookie contests, Haiku fests, and make your
      own surf band competition. Prizes and everything.

  2. Paul Tobin
    Paul Tobin says:

    Sumac Sun Tea
    Sumac, Sumac, Sun tea It’s good for you and It’s good for me
    What do it look like don’t be afraid, those those little red berries
    Taste like lemonade
    Hum, Hum, Hum
    Put in the water put it in the Sun, tomorrow morning were gonna have fun
    Hum, Hum, Hum

    Part of a cultural map we are building were going to add bark and leaf and where to find it.
    I’ll send you the finished version

  3. Terri Shaffer
    Terri Shaffer says:

    It only takes a little modeling for young children to make a song out of and for everything. They learn things more quickly if a song is attached.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Writing our own songs from the land, this is the high bar. This song was written in the UK during the first UK Art of Mentoring, July 2010 and performed by the first Ontario Art of Mentoring, August 2010. […]

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