Sunday, January 07, 2007

Walking in the Air

Walking in the Air
Originally uploaded by JumpinJack.

Or, as I originally started this …What is going on here?

Having had insomnia for months now, I have gotten in the habit of listening to the radio in the middle of the night. Tuned into NPR, the classical station has introduced me to some beautiful music. Recently, it was “Walking in the Air.” Unable to remember all the orchestral and boy soprano info, I tried first to track the CD down at Borders during Christmas shopping. I failed. Christmas in Vienna with Sarah Brightman and Placido Domingo was sold out. So was the new age piano version by George Winston. And after that the listings got strange. Older- 1980’s or Western- Kenny Rogers.

So today I tried again, this time with Nothing was quite right. Most CDs were too Christmasy or instrumental. I wanted that cutting boy soprana I had heard in the middle of the night. To my surprise it was a celtic woman’s CD that proved to be the exact version that I wanted. When I heard Chloe Agnew’s “Walking in the Air” I burst into tears. She had simply sliced my heart open.

Still, I hesitated. The CD over all was pretty slow. I figured it would ultimately just depress me.
I kept searching. I found the Wikipedia entry which gives background and a rather complete anthology: "Walking in the Air" is a song written for the animated short, The Snowman, which was broadcast on TV in 1983, published on videotape, DVD, released as a single and LP. In the second part of The Snowman story, the boy and the snowman fly to the North Pole. "Walking in the Air" is the theme for the journey. It also gave the words. The only words in the entire soundtrack:

We’re walking in the air
We’re floating in the moonlit sky
The people far below are sleeping as we fly
I’m holding very tight
I’m riding in the midnight blue
I’m finding I can fly so high above with you
Far across the world

The villages go by like dreams
The rivers and the hills
The forests and the streams
Children gaze open mouth
Taken by surprise
Nobody down below believes their eyes

We’re surfing in the air
We’re swimming in the frozen sky
We’re drifting over icy
Mountain floating by
Suddenly swooping low on an ocean deep
Arousing of a mighty monster from its sleep
We’re walking in the air
We’re floating in the midnight sky
And everyone who sees us greets us as we fly

Well, you have to hear the music for the full effect.

And I continued to google on until I came somehow to YouTube.

What was this? There’s a video clip of a rock concert. Longhairs, tee-shirts, drums, roar of the crowd and this guy is dedicating the next song to a dear friend. He comes and hugs. A woman in long flowing white gown takes the blackened stage, cups the microphone in her hands and sings, “We’re walking in the air…”

I scroll down. Another video: A punked out Asian girl is distorted by leaning so close to the camera. She’s cupping… a karoke ? mic and singing out of key with complete earnestness, “We’re walking in the air…”

I scroll down some more. Yet another Nightwish video. Appparently this rock band in Europe has made a version with a montage of painted and photographed images to accompany their rendition. It’s all about(to my mind) incredible night skys but in the last third, during the refrain, the images switch to different cultures: Asian, Native American.

What is going on here?

Boy soprano, opera star, old cartoon Holiday special, rock concert, and karoke. Not just here on Atlanta's PBS radio, but in Europe, Asia… the images made it clear… all around the world people are being caught up by this old song. They’re singing in every way shape and form, “We’re walking in the air…”

So, what is going on here? I think I know...

Hearts are being opened. Longing and desire, hopes so very private and tender you only dare to let them out cushioned by the darkness of the night are finally being freed. And it seems that in every one of those hearts there is hope and longing to transcend borders, boundaries, gravity.

This is one expression of spiritual awakening, the stirring of our souls.

For walking in the air… the spirit taking flight in simply shear delight (sorry, I started singing) …flying in the air is the time honored dream image of spiritual longing.

And we- you, me and the whole human population of this planet need to know that anything is possible if we just wake up.

We need to realize that hearts are being opened. And in that act there is always hope.

And I do hope your computer can connect to YouTube and see the video.
I’ll try to get that link up and going. …anything is possible.

And PS: After writing this, I went to Flickr for an image. Click on it. I promise I didn't fiddle with the entry in the slightest way. I tell you, the dream is everywhere.