Friday, October 30, 2015


Farther up the Hudson,  Washington Irving's Headless Horseman could scarcely walk his steed down Route 9 because it is chock-a-block with the cars of tourists come to see him.  Today, as on many days, I was brought back to a song that I first heard when I was a hopeful, quiet, mouth-breathing high school girl listening to a random LP taken out of the Yonkers Public Library.  It began:
"When I was born I had no head. My eye was single and my body was filled with light"
As I trot through my workday, I remember my single eye and my body filled with light, and I long to return there, but I don't know how.  Here is Mike Heron  of the Incredible String Band singing his song:

Feel free to sing along.

When I was born I had no head
My eye was single and my body was filled with light
And the light that I was, was the light that I saw by
And the light that I saw by, was the light that I was
And many's the time that I've passed by the river
And saw no tollman and needed no ferryman to cross
And I enjoyed the world aright
For the sea itself floweth
And warm I was and crowned.
But one day walking by the river
I met a tollman with an angry face
And many's the time I passed through his tollgate
And paid no silver and paid no fee
But rather I did hide my sheep and goats under the bags of oatmeal
And cold I was, no crown did I wear
But if you're walking down the street
Why don't you look down to the basement
And sitting very quietly there is a man who has no head
His eye is single and his whole body also is filled with light
And the streets are his and all the people
And even the temples and the whole world
And many's the time he walks to the river
And seeing the ferryman and seeing the tollman
The light within him leaps to greet them
For he sees that their faces are none but his own
One light, the light that is one though the lamps be many
You never enjoy the world aright
"Till the sea itself floweth
In your vein and you are clothed
With the heavens and crowned with the stars"

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