A Valentine’s thought — who doesn’t like to be read to?
Well, it’s finally here: The Small Graces CD. It is a two disc set, recorded at a small studio here in the north woods. I have hand-signed each copy for sale through the website. I hope you’ll consider it as a Valentine gift for someone you care about.
I’d like to tell you a little bit about this CD.
I had wanted to make a CD of one of my smaller, more spiritual books, for years. They grow out of my background in theology and spiritual traditions, and they have about them the quiet musicality of poetry and prayer.
This is not accidental. I have always believed that words have power and language has music. Rhythm, pacing, space and silence; crystalline images and internal poetry — these are the tools of my trade when I set out to write from the heart.
I have never before had the opportunity to allow you to hear my books the way that I hear them — the way I want them to be heard. This is my chance to offer them to you with the intimacy of my own voice and feeling.
I chose Small Graces for the first audio book because so many of you asked for it. I was also deeply touched by several people who said that their parents or wife or husband kept it by their bed when they were ill, and took solace in hearing it read aloud.
Now I can offer it to all of you to hear aloud. Whether as a private meditation, a quiet moment while driving, or a friend to have nearby while going about your daily tasks, this audio version of Small Graces will offer you the book in a new and richer way.
I hope you will go back to the main page and click on the CD links right below the banner. There you can read a review of Small Graces by the wonderful reviewers of spiritual books, music, and films, Frederic and Maryann Brussat, and listen to two sample tracks from the CD itself. The cello interludes between sections were composed and played by a friend, Patrick Riley, who was a member of the Baltimore Symphony before he chose to devote himself to developing the talents of young musicians.
I’m thrilled with this CD. It is like a light in the clearing, revealing moments that had been hidden up until now.
If you have friends of family who can no longer read, I hope you will consider purchasing a copy to share with them. In this CD, they will hear the heartbeat of the book.
I want to thank you again for asking me to do this recording. It allowed me to meet my own book anew. I look forward to hearing if you, too, feel that the audio version brings the book alive in a new and special way.
And I look forward to the chance to read to you.
I just happened to open an old blog while looking for something else. Who says there aren’t concurrences in this universe? It was from January th, 2004 — almost exactly three years to the day from today, and, I gather from the blog, that it was a day much like today (it was -30 here last night).
Here is what the blog said. You may go back in the archives and find it for yourself, if you’re so inclined:
Good morning, everyone. It’s somewhere south of thirty below zero, not to get above -25 today. A hard time, quite beyond quaint and romantic.
I woke up on this cold morning to the following message:
Good morning Kent Nerburn,
I pastor a small church in the suburbs of Milwaukee.
One of my members, Doris, died on Tuesday and her funeral is tomorrow afternoon.
On her bedside table, her daughter found your book “Small Graces” that she had been reading. She had marked the next reading as the final chapter, the closing of the day. The last chapter she had read was the death of your friend and the distant shore. It was eerie.
We are reading parts of “the closing of the day” in her funeral service tomorrow.
I am preaching from John’s gospel story of the wedding at Cana. It was the reading on the last Sunday she was in church.
At the funeral service I am going to allow water to be water and shift the miracle on changed hearts, so filled with laughter and love that ordinary water tasted sweeter than any wine anywhere.
Doris’ magic was in her ordinariness. The ordinariness of water and air.
Her death is a huge blow to our church family where she has been a member for 38 years.
Thank you for keeping her company and journeying with her these past few months of her life with “Small Graces”.
My day has suddenly gotten a lot warmer.