Cloister Commentary, Day 85: There Is No Sweeter Sound

Nicole and I opened the day with our 68th slice of pandemic peanut butter and jelly toast since March 17th, and hiked from Cosmo Park to the start of the Bear Creek Trail. We met Bess Frissell, in her role with Columbia Parks and Recreation, tending to the health of the trail behind the wheel of a monster tractor. We’ve either seen or talked to her at length four times in the last week, and it’s always a joy.

I have written in the recent past about our work trying to establish a proper memorial for a great friend and teacher, Bess’ father George Frissell, who passed unexpectedly on May 14. Yesterday, through a fantastic group effort, we were able to finalize the project and launch a GoFundMe to make it a reality. It’s my first to help organize, and I’m filled with hope, excitement, but also tinges of fear, as our goal is ambitious, the times do not lend themselves to free funds, and momentum has grown very quickly in the first hours of the launch. The generosity shown by contributors so far has been overwhelming.

The mailbox issued forth an amazing but apparently out of print post-World War II gospel collection entitled There Will Be No Sweeter Sound, compiled by the near-infallible expert Opal Louis Nations. I immediately loaded up the CD player, and we were lifted and gifted as we read on the couch.

The evening: burritos, quesadillas, chile rellenos, sorbet, margaritas, Netflix’s Michelle Obama documentary (a companion to her excellent memoir), and a word or two of wisdom from Dave Chappelle. If you missed that, it’s less than half an hour, and it’s right here:

Streaming for Strivers:

I can find no full album link for Kahil El’Zabar and David Murray’s new album Kahil El’Zabar’s Spirit Groove, but it is absolutely hypnotic. This sample is 15 minutes–it might just center you if you need that.



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