Sunday, November 4, 2007

Anyway (Suzzy and Maggie Roche)

“Zero Church” is a collection of 17 non-denominational prayers... a result of work we [Suzzy and Maggie Roche] began at Anna Deavere Smith's Institute on the Arts & Civic Dialogue. “The Institute focuses on artistic collaboration & discovery while exploring issues of race, identity, diversity, and community.”

We collected prayers from people of many walks of life and set them to music. Many of the prayers were written by the folks who gave them to us... some are more traditional. Guest vocalists include Terre and David Roche, Dr. Ysaye Barnwell (from Sweet Honey & The Rock), Joel Bard, Ruben Martinez & Francis Bok.

For all those who have been inquiring about the song “Anyway,” which is on “Zero Church”, we have heard from the original author of the words! His name is Kent Keith and he wrote “The Paradoxical Commandments” in 1968 as part of a booklet for student council leaders. Since then the “Commandments” have traveled thoughout the world and taken several different forms. There is in fact a version on the wall of Mother Teresa’s orphanage which is slightly different from his original is called “Anyway”... however, the version which was given to us is yet a third version and Kent Keith doesn't know the exact origin. However it was entitled “The Final Analysis.” I urge anyone who is interested in this song to check out Mr. Keith's website.

Anyway by Suzzy and Maggie Roche

Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments: Finding Personal Meaning in a Crazy World by Kent M. Keith, Spencer Johnson

POEM: Optimism by Jane Hirshfield

More and more I have come to admire resilience.

Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam
returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous
tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true.
But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers,
mitochondria, figs -- all this resinous, unretractable earth.

QUOTE: "As I grow older I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do." ~ Andrew Carnegie

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