Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | June 10, 2008

Are we not as much Harp as Harper?

A friend Gordon Cooper writes: Can the Singer manifest without their song? Are we not as much harp as harper? Shouldn’t we be as much a consequence as a creative participant in the magical process? As Opal Whiteley wrote in her book of poetry in 1923:

All Things Live
All Things live;
The innermost thoughts
Of a Man’s soul
Walk the highway
Of the Universe,
And are seen
By all the pilgrims,
Who have gone before.



Responses

  1. Was I born to write? – or do I write because I was right to be born?… Does any creative endeavour come to us because we just happen to be here or are we born with an inbuilt desire to follow our particular creative path (or any other vocation) – can the song be seperated from the singer? Are we just receptive vessels that creativity/desire finds it’s door and voice in?

    I do like that piece of poetry – we are, I suppose nothing more than our own thoughts… are our thoughts then our soul?..

    We are all a consequence of our thoughts – our thoughts therefore must be the harp – and we are the harper…. so that makes us both harp and harper – song and singer… maybe

    I often wonder if there are such things as ghosts – I like to think there is – but could it be that they are left behind thoughts caught in the air for us to feel?…the songs of the past… It would explain alot…

    Thanks for this post Philip – it’s very thought provoking ( and therefore a good bit of harp playing 😉

  2. Hi Philip!

    What a beautiful question that is!! Sometimes when playing the harp it feels the harp is me…

    I want to explore the more mystical side to harp playing now. I can already feel the long tradition of the harpers within me. And see and feel the music deep within me (which is no good with King of the Fairies, as I see a Fairie-King doing a Lord of the Dance-thing). 😉

    Would you have any recommandation in reading about celtic/mystical/… harp playing? Or spriritual music in general?

    And you might not remember me, we had a brief contact through letter in 1993, when I was an Au Pair in London and struggling with reading of your books. 😉 Sorry I missed you in Germany this year, I didn’t know you were doing workshops – literaly around the corner from my home, boohooo.

    Thank you very much!
    Julia

  3. Hi Julia,

    Nice to hear from you! If you go to http://www.druidry.org and type ‘harp’ in the search field, you will find lots of material. There is an interesting essay up by member Susa Black, and in the Message Board you will see there is a forum where harpists are talking to each other and exchanging information.

    I’ll be back in Germany next May, so maybe see you then!

    All the best,

    Philip

  4. Hi Philip,

    thank you very much for the advice, I will search for it any maybe I should become a member of the message board, if I may.

    Doing some research in the internet I found a lovely Taoist tale about a harper being the harp:
    http://www.the-professor-mon.com/general-taoism/TamingHarp.html

    Hope to see you next year!

    Greetings from Germany,
    Julia

  5. Thanks for the beautiful quote.

    Thought you might be interested in the following links about Opal Whiteley .. we’re making a film inspired by her.

    http://www.youtube.com/opalthemovie
    http://www.myspace.com/opalthemovie
    http://www.opalthemovie.com


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