By Daniel Kieval
Song “Lost and Found”
Caption read by songwriter
This song looks back from an imagined future, telling the story of “some creatures” (guess which ones!) who forgot how to belong in the world and the devastation caused by that forgetting, followed by a long period of re-membering, healing and rebuilding from the rubble.
As a message from the future, what stands out most to me is that both the dying and the healing will take “a long, long, long, long time.” The instrumental sections at those two parts of the song could reflect the unknowns about those two periods: What will they look like? How long will they last? What will come after?
After the song was written, I changed some of the words to correct both Eurocentric and human-centric ideas that I perceived in the original. I still don’t love that this version of the story gives all of the agency to the lost and confused humans who are causing the damage, while the rest of the human and more-than-human beings seem able only to weep and pray for mercy and die. In my actual vision, it is exactly those beings who will play the lead role in collective awakening and healing, and if I were starting the song from scratch I would try to write it that way.
This song contains several layers of vocals in harmony, with reverb; piano; organs; guitar; mandolin; and a hand drum. There are instrumental sections in the middle and at the end featuring organ solos. The tempo is 85 bpm.
Once there was a world that was rich beyond compare
And everyone rejoiced in the abundance that they shared
Til some creatures in a tragic accident
How they belonged too
And these creatures with confusion in their eyes
Laid waste to the home that they shared and even their own souls
And the others that lived upon the earth
To the ground
And prayed for mercy
But no answer they received
As the sky began to bleed
And the richness all unraveled strand by strand
And the lost ones fled the truth
And the devastation too
As life was swallowed by the broken land
And the dying continued for a long long long long time…
After ages things began to stabilize
Though so very many perished there were still some who survived
Then the creatures in the wreckage all around
Began to remember
And these creatures with knowing in their eyes
Bore witness to the suffering that all life had endured
And with the others that still lived upon the earth
To the ground
And wept for all that was and all that now would never be
And slowly they joined their hands together
Saying, “If there is a world to follow this one
Then let it be born today”
And the healing continued for a long long long long time…
Audio version of biography
Daniel Kieval (32) has been an educator and group facilitator in many fields including nature connection, Judaism, music, mindfulness meditation, and the Work That Reconnects. Daniel’s recent ancestors are Jews from Eastern Europe and he is proud to carry their traditions and gifts. He is a member of the Earth Leadership Community (second cohort) and the Interhelp Council. Daniel lives on Pocumtuc homelands in western Massachusetts between the Connecticut River and Quabbin Reservoir.