Color Prayer (1998)

Patricia Ann Repar

Clarinet, Piano, Voice

The text of Color Prayer is comprised of excerpts from the following sources: Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, the Islamic Call to Prayer, Mexican folk sungs as sung by Linda Ronstadt, the Ordinary of the Roman Catholic Mass, and Memoirs from the Women's Prison by Nawal El Saadawi.

"The body was now a broken, twisted piece of meat. Carrion, birds, rodents, insects, and worms came to feed on the decomposing flesh [Allahu akbar] that I had once imagined to be me. Time passed faster [Mata me cielo] and faster and the days flashed by and the sky faster and faster into a blur. The seasons changes and the remains of the {Hablan me montes y valles] body began to dissolve tino the soil enriching it. The frozen snows of moment in time but as the seasons flashed by in evermore rapid cycles even the bones became dust. From the nourishment [Donde?] of my body [Lord have mercy. Gritenme piedras del campo] flowers and trees grew and died in that [A donde?] meadow. Finally even the meadow disappeared. I had become part of the carrion birds that had feasted on my flesh, part of the insects [Kyrie eleison] and rodents, and part of their predators in a great cycle of life and death. I became their ancestors--

Hablan me montes y valles. Speak to me. Gritenme piedras del campo. Allahu Akbar. Christo. A donde? Christo. Traga me tierra. Donde? Traga me tierra. Christo.

Every dawn I wait for him and I hear him. I raise my head towards the piece of sky visible through the bars. Can't see the curlew. I'm satisfied just to hear him without seeing him. Enough that I hear and that I can move my arms and legs and jump up and down on the floor of the cell, that my heart beats, the sweat pours, my body goes under the shower and the thick water falls, and that I dry my hair and light the gas..."

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