One of the joys of this blog is learning from you, the readers. I went looking for a video of a Carrie Newcomer song, "Playing with Matches", that had been recommended by our friend David Terry. I didn't find that, but in listening to other postings, I came across one, "Holy as a Day is Spent", that might as well stand as the Slow Love Life anthem. "Unknowingly we slow our pace/in the shade of unexpected grace."

I could listen to this song a hundred times--and I wish I could lullaby a small child to sleep. My work for Moms Clean Air Force is demanding; it is difficult to spend hours reading about the terrible suffering inflicted on babies and children because of coal pollution. But at the end of this very long, intensely productive, day, I felt I was being given a gift when Newcomer began to sing. I sat back, took it in--the smooth beauty of her voice, the wise words, the heart that sits right there on her sleeve, and on the neck of her guitar. I hit replay a few more times. And then said thank you. I did my day's end chores--dishes and laundry--with this song in my soul. I hope you love it too.

holy as a day is spent
holy is the dish and drain

the soap and sink, and the cup and plate

and the warm wool socks, and the cold white tile

showerheads and good dry towels

and frying eggs sound like psalms

with bits of salt measured in my palm

it’s all a part of a sacrament

as holy as a day is spent

holy is the busy street

and cars that boom with passion’s beat

and the check out girl, counting change

and the hands that shook my hands today

hymns of geese fly overhead
and spread their wings like their parents did
blessed be the dog, that runs in her sleep
to chase some wild and elusive thing

holy is the familiar room

and quiet moments in the afternoon

and folding sheets like folding hands

to pray as only laundry can

i’m letting go of all my fear

like autumn leaves made of earth and air

for the summer came and the summer went

as holy as a day is spent

holy is the place i stand

to give whatever small good i can

and the empty page, and the open book

redemption everywhere i look

unknowingly we slow our pace

in the shade of unexpected grace

and with grateful smiles and sad lament

as holy as a day is spent

and morning light sings “providence”

as holy as a day is spent.


c said...


Lindsey said...

Wow. Am aghast, in tears, feeling that I've found my anthem. Thank you, thank you. xo

Deborah A said...

Yes, thank you David, I had it on my list to look up Carrie after your comment, which I enjoyed.
I was pleasantly surprised that Dominique looked her up and found this beautiful song.
Such clear talent. Something so peaceful about her singing. I can't wait to pick up her new release so I can play it while driving....always a challenge lately.
Thank you Dominique, once again you have inspired me, made me stop and think, I admire your goals, feel your intensity, your need to make a difference. Nothing worthwhile is easy. Staying the course is not always easy under adversity. Your doing a good job.

Thea said...

that sure was a purdy perfect song for this blog. sort of a divine intervention...t

Thea said...

p.s. i saw your article on aol home about not bringing work home. too short, madam! t

Karena said...

Dominique beauty beyond, and I see it even in your everyday life shared with us, your fabrics and kitchen, your surroundings and inspiration.


Art by Karena

david terry said...

Dear Ms. Browning, et al...

Well, I'm just awfully happy to read this very generous posting of Ms. Browning's.....and this is being written after midnight and after my having canned/pickled/preserved and otherwise processed thirty pounds of tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers. Let me emphasize that I have done all of this with three rambunctious terriers (including an obstreperous 9 week old puppy) under my feet. No one got scalded by a pot of boiling water..

that said?....

It's so good to hear you folks responding so enthusiastically to Carrie's work. Since I first encountered her in the early 90's, I've thought she was one of the smartest and genuinely-fine singer-songwriters around. I've never figured out why she hasn't achieved perfectly-okay-Mary- Chapin-Carpenter's level of fame (and, for that matter, financial reward)

Carrie's just stunning. She's incontrovertibly a contralto....but she's somehow learned (or maybe just knew) to simply skip/manage her "bridge" and slide into soprano. In short (and this is a household filled with folks who were classically trained), the VOICE and her production are amazing. Once you're past that, you can get into the lyrics, etcetera.....and her voice hasn't been damaged (Like Nanci Griffith's or other women one could name) by singing for years in small venues, over and over again, for years.....while they just try to make a living at this very hard business).

Predictably enough, I wasn't aware of all these live-concert recordings on you-tube.


1. "Angel At My shoulder" ( a really fine album)

Enough of this.....decide for yourself.....but do listen to (and do buy) "betty's diner" and "A Safe Place". The sort of folks who love Ms Browning's sensibility and work will, I think, also love Carrie Newcomer's work.

2. Oh?....Madame de la Von Browning?...would you please stir yourself and go check your danged PO box?....there's at least one piece of Carrie Newcomer already sitting in it.

Level best as Ever,

David Terry

Warren said...

WOW -- Music really does tame me. Great. Thanks to David and Dominique. I sense another charge on iTunes.

Cristina said...

peaceful & sound words; the one sentence I'll be using as a mantra is "I'm letting go of all my fear like autumn leaves...".
(later I'm gonna look for her songs on youtube, I'm curious to hear her voice).

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Janet said...

I read your book and I lurk on your blog. Thank you so much for this.

Judith Ross said...

Aahh. Just the thing to help us all breath.

Some of us are pretty jumpy these days. Having returned from visiting Oslo a mere 10 days ago, the tragedy there is very much on the minds of everyone in this household.

Then there is the craziness here at home.

We do have to balance the horrors of the world with its beauty -- and this blog achieves that balance.

Thank you Dominique and David Terry for adding a new calming voice to my music portfolio.

Anonymous said...

Amen. Amen. Amen.
Once again. Amen!

Bruce Barone said...


Maureen Sullivan Stemberg, Interiors said...

One word: Thank you!

Malerie said...

I so, so, so loved this.. sent to a bunch of like-thinking friends.

Cathy Modica said...

Thank you SO much for pointing my attention to Carrie Newcomer and this beautiful song. Your blog notes often arrive in my mailbox in the midst of a hectic day as work (as today) and help me to slow down, breathe, and remember what really matters -- and what is really holy in this world. This was a lovely post, and sends me down a path I had not anticipated today.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful, beautiful song.
What a message!
And what a voice!!

Thanks so much.

Susan Schwartz
Montreal, Canada

david terry said...

Well....its the middle of the day, and I've got to rinse all the alum-soak out of two buckets of cucumbers before canning them tonight.

for now, however?...I'm so glad that so many of you just got yourselves clued-in to Carrie Newcomer's work.

It's been a long time since I played match-maker, but I had a good hunch that I should introduce "Slow Love Life" readers to Carrie Newcomer.

something told me that you folks should all meet each other and fall in love....


david terry

Eulalia (Lali) Benejam Cobb said...

Thank you, Dominique, and David, and Terry.

david terry said...

Dear Eulalia,

So, you live in Vermont? you're lucky.... I wish I were there now (it's HOT in NC). I went to the Breadloaf school at Middlebury for four wonderful summers during my twenties.

two points:

(1) the name is "david".

(2) as my great-aunts made a point of constantly reminding me while I was doing my business of growing-up, "Terry" is the surname of a welshman that their wayward sister (my grandmother) was married to for about/at most 10 months of 1939.

(3) In any case, folks who like me just call me "David". There are, of course, all sorts of otherfolks who prefer all sorts of other names for me.

Level Best as ever,

David Terry (who has NEVER figured out why yankees always want to call me "Terry Davis"...as though THAT were somehow more 'normal'?)

Tree said...

Thank you for sharing this, it is just what I needed today.

profA said...

Just lovely. Thank you, D. and thank you, DT for all the side-bar info. I will certainly look for more from Ms. Newcomer (who seems to have been around for quite some time!)
A beautiful prayer in the Celtic tradition that finds the sacred and holy in all our daily comings and goings and God's handiwork everywhere we turn.
Linda B.

Vickie H. said...

Oh my! I have TRULY been LIFTED UP!
What a treasure!!! Thank you!

home before dark said...

It took years to shed the guilt and rules of my small-town Baptist upbringing. It took even more years to journey into a world where the quotidian was holy and the profane could be sacred. To live in the moment and to cherish the simple, the quiet, the changing is an act of grace. Thank you for the words that sing this psalm.

Eulalia (Lali) Benejam Cobb said...

Dear David Terry,

Am now blushing and feeling uncomfortably hot in cool Vermont: I meant to write "Thanks, Dominique, David, and CARRIE."


Kay Wisniewski said...

Holy is each, in accordance with calling.

For it to be else, would be but a falling.

For each the joy for which they were made.

Anything else is to be ...waylaid.

Forgive other's lack of understanding,

Remain true to the rock on which you are standing.

Cristina said...

back to the wish of using the "letting go of all my fears like autumn leaves" as a mantra: the problem is that, instead, I sometimes happen to feel as I'm an autumn leave myself, brought away by the wind...
P.S. a little bit too calm & slow - to me - Carrie Newcomer, but I did like a lot her "Betty's Diner".

Spezialed said...

Simply Exquisite.

Thank you for posting.

offset printing said...

This is very profound and beautiful. I appreciate your time in sharing this wonderful and life inspiring composition. I hope everybody is doing well. Have a happy weekend!

karenleslie said...

i was just walking in the garden with a glass of wine slowly taking in all the early evening moments and i found myself thinking about this post. while i'm not that keen on the song, the sentiments are really perfect -- it's the moments we notice and enjoy that are sublime. divine. they could be anything. for me this evening it was the flowers that i'd recently planted that picked up on the colors around them, contrasts and flow. i made a spectacular new recipe that my daughter, in her room with her friend, was eagerly awaiting to chill (quinoa). i texted her to "come here" and she came into the kitchen with an impish smile, "yes mother." "try this" i commanded and handed her a water cracker with sour cherry preserves and goat cheese spread on top. as a vegetarian, i'm challenged to make her food interesting and tasty. "just imagine," i said, "you're at college and your friends are gathered and you hand them a glass of wine and offer them these lovely crackers before dinner." "mmmm" was her response, "can i have another?" - music of course to a mother's ears...

thank you dominique for expanding me once again.

david terry said...

P.S.... Just a note (following some comments I've received) regarding my previous comment regarding Mary Chapin Carpenter's work.....

I wrote "..perfectly-okay-Mary-Chapin-Carpenter's level of fame".

That comment wasn't in the least meant as a disparagement of Ms. Carpenter's deservedly-famed work or reputation. I gather I'm among the 100,000 or so folks who think that several of her songs are among the best things made, in her field, during the past twenty years.

When I wrote "perfectly-okay", I meant to convey that I think there are no negative criticisms to made of her work. She's good-enough at her work that there is nothing more to say, as far as I'm concerned. The facts of her work stand for themselves, and "critics" are superfluous. That's what I meant by "perfectly okay".

I'm not exactly known as a music critic, so I was surprised to receive responses to that comment, which I'd meant as a compliment to a singer who scarcely needs my validation.


David Terry

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