Memorial for Walter Blum – Pachamama

by Brian on May 20, 2010

in A Parent in Israel,Jewish Holidays and Culture,Music

This is the fourth in a series of posts from the memorial for my father, Walter Blum, who passed away last year. The event mixed music and humanistic interpretations of Jewish texts to try to share what my father was like and what he was passionate about. Unlike the previous videos, this one is in English.

The next song was suggested by Daphna. It’s a tune that’s sung at the Rainbow Gatherings that are held around the world, including in Israel. “Pachamama” means Mother Earth and the words here are a contrast to the despair in the previous verses – they’re uplifting, optimistic, free. “I wanna fly high, so high like an eagle in the sky.”

But there is a continuity from “V’haya Achrei Chen.” The same words from Pachamama could also be read as a desire to overcome adversity, to make the most of the challenges put before us.

Someone with a disability, like my father, always strives to fly high. My father wasn’t perfect, as I’ve hinted before. He was a real kvetch. He complained all the time. But I think he did try to make the most of what life had given him, to the best of his abilities, as it says in the song “just a little star telling me to be who you are.”

I wish I could say that in his last days, my father had the peace that this song suggests, as in the words, “And when my time comes I will lay down and fly.” But his death was so quick – less than 3 weeks from the time of his diagnosis until he passed away. People say that was a blessing. That he didn’t suffer for too long. But my father was scared. He didn’t want to go. One of the last things he told me was that it was too soon. He didn’t have time to put his things – or his mind – in order.

So I suppose then that this song is a paradigm for how things should go in their ideal way, both during life and at the end. To the extent that my father achieved this in his 80 years of life, I am glad.

Pachamama I’m coming home to the place where I belong / x2

I wanna be free so free like the flowers and the bees,
Like the birds on the trees and the dolphin and the sea,
I wanna fly high so high like an eagle in the sky
And when my time will come I will lay down and fly

Pachamama I’m coming home to the place where I belong / x2

I wanna be free be me, be the being that I see,
Not to rise and not to fall, being one and loving all
There’s no high there’s no low, there is nowhere left to go
Just inside a little star telling me be who you are

Pachamama I’m….

To view the entire memorial evening on a single page, please click here.

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