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Black Velvet
December 16, 2012 – 3:09 pm | 17 Comments

Childhood memories are vivid, almost indescribable in their detail, and impossible to forget. A Christmas memory I have is that of a black velvet dress  a family friend gave to me for my seventh Christmas.
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Home » dichos + del alma, latest video post

Del Alma: Gracias a la Vida

Submitted by on October 6, 2009 – 11:13 am6 Comments

mercedes sosaMany, many years ago — a lifetime ago, actually — I went through what every human should maybe go through at least once: A period of introspection, a shedding and a rebirth. I don’t write about that time, though I do share it with those close to me who may need reassurance that all will be well. No matter what.

One morning back then, I turned the car radio to a station that played World music and Mercedes Sosa was singing “Gracias a la Vida.” I wept. “Thanks to Life.” It almost felt like a message heaven sent.

I did not know the song before that moment, but it became a personal anthem, and a when I need a reminder to begin and end my days with gratitude — no matter what has happened in those 24 hours — I blast it as loudly as I can from my iPod.

Sosa, a well-known and well-loved folk singer from Argentina, died this weekend in Buenos Aires. She was 74. As a fan I mourn her. Sosa’s talent will be missed, but her voice and her call to gratitude will go on.

What are you grateful for today?

Gracias a la Vida

Gracias a la Vida que me ha dado tanto
me dio dos luceros que cuando los abro
perfecto distingo lo negro del blanco
y en el alto cielo su fondo estrellado
y en las multitudes el hombre que yo amo.

Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto
me ha dado el oido que en todo su ancho
graba noche y dia grillos y canarios
martillos, turbinas, ladridos, chubascos
y la voz tan tierna de mi bien amado.

Gracias a la Vida que me ha dado tanto
me ha dado el sonido y el abedecedario
con él las palabras que pienso y declaro
madre amigo hermano y luz alumbrando,
la ruta del alma del que estoy amando.

Gracias a la Vida que me ha dado tanto
me ha dado la marcha de mis pies cansados
con ellos anduve ciudades y charcos,
playas y desiertos montañas y llanos
y la casa tuya, tu calle y tu patio.

Gracias a la Vida que me ha dado tanto
me dio el corazón que agita su marco
cuando miro el fruto del cerebro humano,
cuando miro el bueno tan lejos del malo,
cuando miro el fondo de tus ojos claros.

Gracias a la Vida que me ha dado tanto
me ha dado la risa y me ha dado el llanto,
así yo distingo dicha de quebranto
los dos materiales que forman mi canto
y el canto de ustedes que es el mismo canto
y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto.

Gracias a la Vida
Gracias a la Vida
Gracias a la Vida
Gracias a la Vida.

Some English translations here.

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