What is a siren?

For those of you that do not read Homer or Virgil, sirens are characters in the Odyssey. They sang while ships passed, but they sang so well, no one could resist their songs' lure.

My all-girl band "Sirens' Song" has been writing and performing together for 14 years. We are currently recording our 3rd cd, 'Safe Harbour.'

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Scars and the Communion of Souls

We just returned from a trip to dallas to see mermaid #3...fabulouso. I was so tired that I did nothing for 3 days afterward, but a beautiful trip non-the less.

Sometimes in the wee hours of the a.m., when the house is quiet, songs have a tendency to be written. So, at 6 a.m., when Hil couldnt sleep, she wrote the lyrics to a song, which of course I finessed and wrote music to in the afternoon.

We also spent lots of time in the pool, with syncronized swimming to weird music (Journey and I think there was a song by Skid Row) and lots of laughing. Over the weekend I noticed a scar on my face from the week before. I had put sunscreen on that was untested, and my super-sensitive skin reacted with a lovely burn. Now there was a bright red scar. Yuk.

I continued to think on scars over the weekend. Hilary was very ill when she was young, and in the process of healing she incurred some scars. In order for her life to be saved, the scars were a trade off.

Then, I thought about my own scars. The surgery scars I have. A scar that allowed my child to be born. The scars on my face from my car accident when I was 19. The miscellaneous scars on my hands from burns, cuts and insect bites. They are all there still, reminding me of bad times and good times. Scars are sort of the odometer of my life, recording all of the mileage for me.

But back to the song. The song title is "this communion of souls." Scars are universally a human condition. Rare is the person who has lived for 20, 30,40 years without some sort of scar. They are a something that we all can commune over. We all know the initial pain, the slow belabored healing, and the lingering reminder of the event. It is literally etched into our skin or on our hearts. Seen or unseen, scars are always there.

The word communion is also a word that I relate to worship. To Christ. I wonder why, the maker of heaven and earth, chose to retain the scars in His hands. I am sure that the Father, (or Jesus Himself) could have remedied those. Why not come back completely perfect? Why show Thomas those hands with the nail marks still in place? Could be many reasons, including the fact that the scars themselves gave testimony to the death and resurrection. Might have been to prove to the disciples that He was the Messiah. Might have been the badge of honor that Jesus decided to keep.

I really dont know the reasons, but it humbles me that Christ kept those scars. It means He was fully human and understands completely when I am knocked to the ground. It says to me "LeighAnn, you were worth every second of pain that these hands took for you." Or perhaps, like Hilary's scars, the scars are simply there to remind of how our lives are saved.

What a gift we have to bear with one another our scars and hurts, and what a blessing healing brings. Stiched across our hearts are the 3- silk sutures of friends, family, and a gracious God.

Communion of Souls

copyright, Hilary Walton, LeighAnn Heil 2008

Let me tell you my secret
That’s been burning in my heart
With words so frail and broken
I don’t know where to start

But you are there to listen
As I offer up my soul
With caring words to comfort
And a hand for me to hold

This communion of souls
Is a rare gift to find
Friends connecting more than heart and mind
As life spins around me, I know you’ll be true
Cause I’m sharing my soul here with you

As life ebbs and flows
In my heart I will know
You’ll heal and you will mend
You’ll fight and you’ll defend

You read between the lines
To the places in my mind
Where few can go
Yet your words are never cold

If people stopped and tried
Could they have this gift we know?
This heaven here on earth
That strengthens as it grows

This communion of souls
Is a rare gift to find
Friends connecting more than heart and mind
As life spins around me, I know you’ll be true
Cause I’m sharing my soul here with you

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


It has been a while since I have had a chance to post. My computer went down and I was computer-less for a time, then got sick, then my son, Ryan had a birthday. Life works that way, ebbing and flowing.

Perhaps it is why I love the sea so much. High tide and low, the deep and the shallow. The very mysterious, huge, wonderful part of it all. Dangerous and beautiful. A force to be reckoned with, a joy to behold.

This Sunday we chanced to hear a sermon about Jonah. The sermon theme was rambling, but I think the main point was "embracing change." I dont really find that theme in Jonah...matter of a fact, I dont really understand what he was talking about at all. Looked over during the sermon to find my super husband asleep. (asleep in Jesus, he would say)

The Jonah story has always fascinated me with its' main setting being the sea. Jonah runs from God and takes a little cruise. Then the storm. It must have been a storm like no other, as the sailors on board the ship are praying, and praying hard. They have to wake Jonah up! (perhaps he was listening to the same sermon as my hubby...) Jonah admits it is him causing everything and they throw him overboard.

I have been in a riptide before, panicking about being swept out to sea. It is a terrifying feeling. What seemed beautiful and peaceful the moment before, suddenly becomes the scariest place on earth. I imagine Jonah praying, going under the waves, and God saves him. Not through the method Jonah would have preferred, I am sure. The fish is not a punishment, not a method to help Jonah "embrace change"...the fish is salvation.

I like to think that when we are living our lives, it is much like a long sail, a long journey on the sea. Full of beauty, full of peril. Beautiful times with red skies at night. Hard times with red skies in the morning. Through all the storms, God is there. Even when we choose to run from Him and choose our own way. He is still there. He is there when the wind is whipping and when we are thrown overboard. When we need Him most, He saves us, but not always in the way we want. I heard a song recently, and it reminded me of the sad event with Crystal's brother....Sometimes He calms the storm,

Sometimes He calms the storm,
With a whispered peace be still.
He can settle any sea, But it doesn’t mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child

And sometimes He just sends a fish.

copyright 2007, LeighAnn Heil
I am the star that rises from the sea
I bring men dreams, that rule their destiny.
I bring the dreamtides to the souls of men,
The tides that ebb and flow, and ebb again.

These are my seacrets they belong to me
The mystery of sirens, the seacrets of the sea
These are my seacrets, they will always be
The mystery of sirens the seacrets of the sea

I am the loralei low-a-down
With coral and with pearls, upon my starry crown.
I am the crystal stream that rises in the waves.
The mystery that haunts, the silent rocks and caves.

I am the song that lingers in the nightime air
When the moon has risen, over waves so fair
i am the long haired maiden with harp out on the sea
I am the siren singing, this is my mystery.

These are my seacrets, they will always be,
The mystery of sirens, the seacrets of the sea.