Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Loreena McKennitt's The Book of Secrets is one of those quintessential fall albums in the life of Dan. I always manage to rediscover her music at this time of year. A big part of it is that we bought The Book of Secrets while on our honeymoon in Chicago in October of 1997, so her whole catalog feels very autumnal to me. And of all of McKennitt's albums, The Book of Secrets is still probably my favorite, even though that's kind of a cop out because it does contain her one "hit" song, "The Mummer's Dance."

Tonight, while I was driving home from work, I found myself listening to "Skellig" which I have not listened to in quite some time. In the song, a Irish monk who lives on the island of Skellig Michael relates his final dying words. I have always loved this song, it is so dark and haunting. As I drove home tonight, I thought of how if I were to have lived during the Dark Ages, I would have undoubtedly been one of those Irish monks, perhaps living in the Skellig islands and copying reams of religious documents by candlelight.

I can't help but think it would be a simpler, less anxiety-ridden existence. With a view like this, I think you would be hard pressed to get too caught up in drama.

From the liner notes of The Book of Secrets:

In the end, I wonder if one of the most important steps on our journey is the one in which we throw away the map. In jettisoning the grids and brambles of our own preconceptions, perhaps we are better able to find the real secrets of each place; to remember that we are all extensions of our collective history.


John said...

Ahhh...I could go for some of that less-hectic lifestyle these days. Not sure I could abide by the whole monk thing, but never say never, I suppose. Thanks for really is a great CD from start to finish.

Bess said...

I was just listening to this CD last night! It is great, and I agree that it has a great fall feel to it. The opening minute or so of Dante's Prayer always get me.

Dan said...

I just adore this CD. I am **this close** to buying her Christmas CD that is out right now, but I fear that is going to have to wait for the next paycheck.

I would agree that the whole monk thing might not really be my cup of tea, but in the abstract I think I could do with the solitude sometimes.

"Dante's Prayer" is another of my favorite tracks on that CD. I love how the track is bookended by the monkish choir.