The Healing Sound of Water


[Fragment, Tingley Fountain, Louisville, KY]

Sunday, overpowered by “despair at the world”* and yearning for quiet and beauty and solitude, I walked to Cave Hill Cemetery—where Muhammad Ali had been buried two days before. And what better place to silently hold in the Light the Orlando victims and their families and the LGBT community and my delusional country than beneath an ancient tree.

So I did. I sat beneath many such trees. And found comfort in both their bounteous shade (it was a tropically hot) and, unlike Berry’s wild peace, to discover unexpected joy in each tree’s scripted, humanly designed, eye-pleasing placement. Such man-made beauty allowed me to acknowledge “that of God in everyone.” What a gift!

Of course, given that the Louisville cemetery had just become the final resting place for one of the world’s most famous people, its 296 acres pulsed with energy as car after car, from shiny, tinted-glass SUVs to beat-up wheezers, drove up and down winding, tree-lined roads to pay their respects. And when I was finally ready to once again be in community, I joined the throngs.

Muhammad Ali’s remains are buried on the side of a steep, shaded hill overlooking the cemetery’s scattering gardens and a small lake, once the site of a natural spring, which now boosts an ever-gushing fountain. So if you wish to make a pilgrimage to that extraordinary man’s burial location you can, after visiting the site, walk down the hill to sit on a bench—and be comforted by the healing sound of water.


*The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

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1 Comment

  1. Dear Patricia,

    Hello, there, Patricia, my so, so very For Always dearly special and dearly precious sisterfriend of mine who you’re For Always so, so very much!!!!! Wow, sister, what an absolutely insightful so overflowing with such enlightening inspiration blog post article this is of yours, friend of mine, Patricia!!!!!! Yay!!!!!! What a so, so very true-to-life title for this magnificent blog post article which moves me and touches me making me feel serene, soothed and comforted. Water does very much indeed have a healing sound and it is also such a delicious, healing sight for the visual senses. I love to when I’m able(it is hard to access the shore of the Iowa River here where I live in Iowa City, Iowa with my physical disabilities because there is a certain amount of walking to get to the shore and up really close to the Iowa River) but whenever I can I love to just gaze and to gaze so longingly with such deliciousness just taking in the sheer beauty and peace of the water. When I still lived in the Cleveland, Ohio area I’d often go and gaze for such a lusciously long time at the majesty of Lake Erie and just get beautifully lost in the scrumptious to feast my eyes on water. I so, so very much yearn to see the mighty Atlantic Ocean and the grand Pacific Ocean. I flew over the Atlantic Ocean forty years ago in the Summer 1976 when I went to Europe but I couldn’t see the Atlantic Ocean that well because we flew over in the darkness of night each way. I visited California Summer 1974 but somehow missed getting up close to the very shore to see the awesome Pacific Ocean. Sister, what a beautiful and so, so very lovely picture which you’ve so, so very graciously and generously featured with this very fine and excellent blog post article very applicable to the great theme of your article here, Patricia!!!!! Yay!!!!! Sisterfriend, I, too, need and yearn for quiet and beauty and solitude, Patricia!!!!! We all need this to replenish ourselves and our low reserves of energy. I so need to get to the water just to look upon it and to gaze upon it for so long so longingly if I can just figure out a way that I can handle and navigate getting close to the shore with my physical disabilities. Wow, my friend, I’m just so, so very thrilled, overjoyed, and happy that you had this very serene and deeply spiritual experience, Patricia!!!!!! I, too, am praying for holding in the Light the Orlando victims who survived and their families and friends, the friends and families of the so, so very dearly departed who were very viciously killed, my sisters and brothers who are LGBTs, and just praying for and thinking of our so, so very strife-torn country, and sending such love, prayers, and thoughts for everybody all around here, Patricia!!!!!! Patricia, YOU are my and our so, so very steadfast, undaunted, and precious sister and friend like how you’re a sisterfriend to me as your sisterfriend Christian lesbian black woman!!!!!! Yay for you, Patricia!!!!!! Patricia, you are just the very, very best and the greatest, and such the very, very epitome of such very overall awesomeness!!!!!! Thank-you so, so much For Always straight from the very bottom of my very, very heart from the very deepest depths of my very, very heart and spirit, sister!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!

    Sister, I’m like you as to how I just love and cherish trees in their splendid beauty and variety. Trees have such character and personality each tree being its uniquely own. I have a local sisterfriend who just loves trees as well. She loves to put her arms around the trunks of trees and to hug trees and feeling the spirits of the trees while praying to Spirit and rejoicing in the sheer blessed joy, beauty, and blessings of the trees. What a great experience to be at the same cemetery where our late great Muhammad Ali is buried and to be a part of the procession to pay your respects, sisterfriend!!!!! Patricia, I’m so, so very glad that you were a part of this!!!!!! Wow!!!!!! Sister, I thank-you so, so very much, profusely, kindly, dearly, and deeply for these marvelous links which you have very graciously and generously provided here so full of interesting and fascinating info and with such beauty, lovely, and glorious pictures within them. I so, so very much love and like how you have revisited here in this very fine and excellent blog post article this brilliant poem by our spectacular Wendell Berry, sister!!!!!! Sister, we all as our Good Spirit’s children must rest with a peaceful, serene spirit with an abiding faith and expectancy of such hope and just like the wild things in Wendell Berry’s beautifully awe-inspiring poem do not tax our lives with forethought of grief. Like it says in the Gospels, we are worth more than sparrows and the birds don’t fret over what they need just as we as our Good Mother and Father God’s children as human beings must not fret over what we need as well. Sister, wow, wow, wow and wow and wow a zillion wows here!!!!!! Now my Tuesday is even better and brighter, and I feel even more re-energized, renewed, rejuvenated, and reinvigorated from this so full of spirit and deeply spiritual blog post article of yours!!!!!! Your words are so, so very sweet, sister, and they act as a healing balm to my very, very heart, and very, very heart, mind, soul, and spirit as I know they do as well for your other very, very many grateful and appreciative readers, Patricia!!!!! Yay!!!!!! Thank-you so!!!!!!

    Patricia, please have such a totally terrific and a very, very thrilling Tuesday, and may all of your days be so, so very especially blessed for a wondrously wonderful week and weekend ahead!!!!!! YOU, Patricia, are my and our very, very joy and blessing!!!!!! Spirit loves you so, so very much, Patricia, and so do I love you so, so very much, my so, so very For Always dearly special and dearly precious For Always sisterfriend of mine!!!!!! Yay for YOU, Patricia!!!!! Yay for us!!!!!! Yay for our sisterhood and friendship, Patricia!!!!! Yay!!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my so, so very For Always and dearest sisterfriend Christian Quaker white woman who you’re For Always so, so very much, Patricia, with Such Peace and Love To You For Always, my friend, and with Such Blessings and Even More Blessings To You For Always, sister of mine,

    Your sisterfriend Christian lesbian black woman For Always and For Always in the very spirit and solidarity, Sherry Gordon in Iowa City, Iowa

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