Collateral Magic!

malcolm and noel sing 'Blowing in the wind"

I’m just back from the CS Lewis Foundation‘s writers retreat/CS Lewis conference in Texas at which I was speaking on the subject of CS Lewis’s great sermon The Weight of Glory, and also singing and reading a little poetry. It was a truly extraordinary weekend. First up was a session on the  friday night called “Collateral Magic: a revolution in word and song, which I did jointly with the amazing Noel Paul Stookey, the ‘Paul’ of Peter Paul and Mary. He is a fabulous musician, a witty raconteur, but also, as I discovered over the weekend, a very gracious and spiritually grounded person. He is in a wholly different league from me, a million times better known and, musically far more articulate and experienced, so he could so easily have made me feel nervous, inadequate, or simply out of place, instead he made me feel completely at home, as if I really belonged up there playing at his side, just naturally as a fellow musician and songwriter. And that generous spirit was something that just deepened as the weekend unfolded. We opened by singing ” I shall be released” together and then alternated playing and discussing our own songs before we finished with “Blowing in the wind ” as a duet. To join in singing that particular song with someone who had known Dylan from the outset and had a hit with it before he did, and to sing it together in a context in which we both knew that the wind in which the answers are blowing is the Ruach, the Pneuma, the Holy Spirit of God, was unforgettable. Among the songs I sang were ‘The Green Man’ and ‘Angels Unawares’, and hearing his familiar voice sing the chorus on a song of my own was indeed a piece of ‘collateral magic’. In fact the whole weekend was magic and thronging with angels unawares, I’ll write more about it, and about what Lewis called “The inconsolable secret” as time allows, but meanwhile, if you have facebook, this should get you to a video of our rendition of The Green Man: Malcolm and Noel sing The Green Man


Filed under christianity, imagination, Music, Songs

10 responses to “Collateral Magic!

  1. Grace abounded everywhere throughout that evening, and the whole weekend, and even I felt at home and as if I really belonged. It WAS magic, the Lorien kind of magic, right down deep, and having to do with putting the thought of all that we love into all that we make.

    • malcolmguite

      Thanks Rebekah, that’s exactly right, I love that phrase, ‘putting the thought of all that we love into all that we make’ . There was a great deal of love and imagination at work in all the mutual making and shaping that went on over that weekend!

    • "LadyLorraine"

      Yes, Rebekah. Yes, Malcolm! Something very magical happens at these Camp Allen Narnian Rhapsodies…and these year the Spirit was in full force sparkling all through the Chapel’s stages and lecterns…and beyond. Thanks be to all creative spirits there and The Creator Spirit Himself. lori

  2. That’s incredible, Malcolm. I wish I could have been there for that. Maybe next year I can make it to Texas and be a part of it. I need these sorts of things to keep creative momentum and encouragement. Glad that you are well! yours, matthew

  3. God bless you Malcolm!
    saw the video the other day, and happy to read your glowing report…
    you must be doing something right!..
    all the best

  4. I’m so happy you had such a blessed weekend, Malcolm. What an honor. I’ll check out the video on FB.

  5. Pingback: Living the Legacy of C.S. Lewis » Blog Archive » Collateral Magic: A Revolution in Word & Song

  6. Keith L

    Very moving, Malcolm….
    Keith L.

  7. Ed

    I like your explanation of Blowing in the Wind – it’s the only sensible one I’ve ever come across!

    • malcolmguite

      Thanks, I think the whole song some how flows from the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus, look at all those ‘how’ questions and the answer pointing to hearing the sound of the wind!

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