Scattershot Symphony: The Music of Peter Link

Episode 8 Part 1: A Matter of Life and Death

March 20, 2021 Peter Link
Scattershot Symphony: The Music of Peter Link
Episode 8 Part 1: A Matter of Life and Death
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Scattershot Symphony: The Music of Peter Link
Episode 8 Part 1: A Matter of Life and Death
Mar 20, 2021
Peter Link

A Matter Of Life and Death -- And The Probability of Life Eternal was written and assembled for all who, in one way or another, have been touched by the Pandemic of 2020.  That’s an audience of billions. 

Through the grace of music, moving on is looked at through a myriad of lenses as an eventual door that we all will pass through at one time or another.  

It is my hope that for those questioning life, in mourning, fearing for their own life or even wondering why we have all come to this, will find some solace from the enlightenment of these songs and the gentle nature of the content of this episode. Episode 8 is presented in two parts.  Listeners should always start with Part 1, knowing that Part two brings us to a greater clarity on the subject of Life Eternal.

Scattershot Symphony is presented by Watchfire Music. Learn more about this episode at their website watchfiremusic.com

Join our email list and tell us what you think!

Show Notes Transcript

A Matter Of Life and Death -- And The Probability of Life Eternal was written and assembled for all who, in one way or another, have been touched by the Pandemic of 2020.  That’s an audience of billions. 

Through the grace of music, moving on is looked at through a myriad of lenses as an eventual door that we all will pass through at one time or another.  

It is my hope that for those questioning life, in mourning, fearing for their own life or even wondering why we have all come to this, will find some solace from the enlightenment of these songs and the gentle nature of the content of this episode. Episode 8 is presented in two parts.  Listeners should always start with Part 1, knowing that Part two brings us to a greater clarity on the subject of Life Eternal.

Scattershot Symphony is presented by Watchfire Music. Learn more about this episode at their website watchfiremusic.com

Join our email list and tell us what you think!

Welcome to:

Scattershot Symphony

The Music of Peter Link

(That’s me.)

People ask me, “Why “Symphony? You’re not a classical composer.” Well, Wikipedia defines “Symphony” as: an extended musical composition most often written by composers for orchestra – often presented in several movements. 


And so, I bring you the music of a lifetime of composition – often presented in several movements.  That’s the nature of these podcasts – a scattershot look at a lifetime of music …

So, strap on them headphones.  

We’re 90% music with just a smattering of commentary.

And for god sakes, 

(Crowd)

Turn it up!


This week being the eighth episode of this podcast, I prefer to let the music do the talkin’.  However, if you need to know more about me, please visit Wikipedia.com – Peter Link.    

This episode is entitled “A Matter Of Life And Death”

And the probability of Life Eternal

Parts 1&2

Phlutterphase Hang Music Cue

Well, the good thing is that life is an amazing experience full of energy, joy, love, triumph, drama, heartbreak, disappointments, laughs and tears ...  The not so good thing is that we all know that at some point, it’s all gonna end. Perhaps ... 

Well, at least life as we know it on Planet Earth will someday come to a grinding halt.  The body certainly will not go on.  The consciousness?  I certainly hope so. 


Goin' Home

Words by William Arms Fisher

Music by Antonin Dvorak & Victor Labenske


Goin' home

Goin' home

I'm a goin' home

Quiet like

Some still day

I'm jes' goin' home


It's not far

Jes' close by

Through an open door

Work all done

Care laid by

Gon' to fear no more


Mother's there

'spectin' me

Father's waitin' too

Lots o' folk

Gathered there

All the friends i knew


I'm goin'

I'm goin' home

I'm a goin' home


Mornin' star

Lights the way

Res'less dream all done

Shadow's gone

Break o' day

Real life just begun


There's no break

There's no end

Jes' a livin' on

Wide awake

With a smile

Goin' on and on


Goin' home

Goin' home

I'm jes' goin' home

It's not far

Jes' close by

Through an open door


Goin' home

[Spoken]

Goin' home

I'm jes' goin' home


I don’t know if I’ll be reconnected with all my loved ones who have gone before me.  Somehow, I rather doubt it.  It would be nice, but it’s not  something that I sit around and expect.


Several years ago I recorded a whole album of songs about life and death.  That music you just heard was the opening song of the album.  Goin’ Home. I woke up one morning and realized that I had probably lived more years than the years ahead of me. Here in the western world we tend to ignore death like the plague ... like it will never happen. Ha! Life is full of surprises.  Is it not?  So, I decided to honor the eventual event,  by really dealing with it and thinking about it ... and ended up writing about it. In song, no less.  It was good for me.  I’m not afraid of it.  I’m actually curious about the transition.  I’m not in any hurry towards it, but when the time comes, I very much want to be totally conscious and aware.  I would never want to die in my sleep.  I’d miss all the fun!

I always loved Steven Jobs’ last words: “Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow!”  Now that’s the way I wanna go out.

So today we’re gonna face it.  There are, of course, many aspects, many issues to deal with. There’s the consideration of those left behind, for me there’s the consideration that I might have to then stop writing music -- a thing that I passionately live for.  For me ... I once wrote these next three lines down as a beginning of a future song that I might yet write ...

If I may be so bold

 I'm not afraid of dyin' 

 I'm afraid a gettin' old

There’s also the consideration of suddenly being taken without first giving permission. This would not be fun.  As per example:


How Are We Raising Our Sons?

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link


Walking home

From streetlight to streetlight

Heartbeat to heartbeat

Watching the shadows

Holding God's hand

And knowing I walk not alone


Yet anxious

These butterflies here in the pit of my stomach

Are turning my heart to stone


And the fear that comes over me

On the window, tapping

Chilling me down to the bone

Should never have breathed

Its cold breath on my shoulder

Following...

Following me home


Breathless I wonder

Why is this happening?

What have I done to deserve...?

No! The fault is not mine

They are the ones

Mothers and fathers

People of earth

How are we raising our sons?

How are we raising our sons?


[Interlude]


Passing by

The boys on their lunch break

Whistling and taunting

Courage in numbers

Having "their fun"

With me as I stare straight ahead


Such cowardice

Though I wonder which one of them

Might have presumption  

To actu'lly follow me home


And the thought that burns into me

Is that how can any man

Take just whatever he wants?

And why be so spoiled

And so disrespectful

Casting stones

And following me home?


Sadly I ask you

Why must we bend to you?

What have we done to deserve...?

No! The fault is not ours

You are the ones

Mothers, and fathers

Look to yourselves

How are we raising our sons?

How are we raising our sons?


Look to yourselves

Look to your children

Look to the things that are taught

This attack on my innocence

Is the essence of avarice

So look to the things in your thought


Look to yourselves

Look to your children

Look to the things that are taught

This attack on my innocence

Is the essence of avarice

So look to the things in your thought


Look to yourselves

Look to your children

Look to the things that are taught

This attack on my innocence

Is the essence of avarice

So look to the things in your thought


Before all that we live for comes undone

Look upon these

And ask yourselves, please

"How am I raising my son?"




Strongest, for me, and for all of us, I suspect, is the notion that the transition might come before we’re really ready to go. Here are my most sincere thoughts on this topic:


What Could Have Been

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

I'll always miss what could have been

And all the things that might have been

When I am gone from here

If looking back upon this life

Is possible beyond this life

The one thing that I fear

Is missing you

And missing us

And all the joys gone up in smoke

Yes the one thing that I fear

Is missing all the years ahead


And all the things that could have been

When things come to an end


I've no regrets of days gone by

I've let live the life I've led

My one regret is missing you

And the things that lie ahead

Another night sleeping next to you

Your crooked smile and yes your tears

The primitive and complex of you

The cavity and convex of you

I've loved so all these years


When I am gone and brood upon

What few men comprehend

I'll question then what could have been

And just why it had to end




The aspect of leaving the ones we love has to be the hardest of all.  Sometimes when I really think about it, I whine like a child, “it’s not fair! Why does it have to end?  Who ever came up with this stupid idea that this is the way it should work? Bummer! 


Mindy Jostyn, as talented a woman as I ever worked with, was taken early in life. What did she ever do to deserve that? A mother to two little boys, a musical talent that was a gift to the world, a sweet and beautifully creative person ... In her last moments I was still producing her last album.  I didn’t know it at the time, but many of the songs on the album were written by her because she knew she was on her way out.  Here’s one ... a prayer written for her children, a last wish, a divine will and testament ... when I was producing these songs I had no idea of the depth of this song, a song about her impending death.  She had told very few of what she knew was coming. It was only later on that I finally realized what she was really saying.


Give Them Wings to Fly

Music and Lyrics by Mindy Jostyn


I do believe that heaven sends angels from above

Sheltering the children God has given me to love

For nothing is as sacred as the caring of their souls

How I long to keep them safe wherever they may go


If I could I'd hide them in the warmth of my embrace

And let their world be filled with only innocence and grace

But if I gave them all the riches underneath the moon

Still my only place of hope is giving them to You


[Chorus]

There will be broken dreams that I cannot repair

Silent tears my hands will never dry

Far beyond the reaches of my love I know You will be there

Father, hear their every cry

And give them wings to fly


Looking back I see the hand of God is always near

Angels weave their presence through a tapestry of years

The echoes of my mother's prayers

have now become my plea

Covering my children with the grace that covers me


[Chorus]


I have seen the way the world

can toss and turn a tender heart

So I'm trusting You to meet them where they are


[Chorus]


The fact is, that I really like it here and I simply do not want to leave this experience.  I’ve got too much to do, too much to learn, and too much to give. 

I enjoy things like breathing. I enjoy eating. I love to laugh. I love to love. To put it simple, I simply refuse to go.


Aw, I know, I know, life doesn’t exactly offer me the choice of when, where, and how, but when the time does come, I do hope to be ready. Here’s a few friends who agree with me and graciously helped me express my feelings on the subject.

Kevin Osborne, Margaret Dorn, Jenny Burton, Darryl Tookes 

& Catherine Russell


There's a Mountain in My Way

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link



I got my eye on heaven

I'll be goin' some day

But every time I turn around

There's a mountain in my way


I'm tryin' to find my heaven

But much to my dismay

Ev'ry time I'm homeward bound

There's a mountain in my way


I can't go under

Can't go around

Got to climb up over

To the holy ground

An' I can't turn back

Can't go astray

And there's a mountain in my way


It's the age old story

Of how we overcome

Talkin' 'bout the quest

For fame and glory

An' how I gotta get me some


You see I love the things

Of this existence

Far too much

I've no resistence

An' the road it stretches

Such a distance

There's a mountain in my way

Oh!


Yes it's!

The age old story

Of how we overcome

Talkin' 'bout the quest

For fame and glory

I thought I hadda get me some


You see I love this world

I love the action

Much too much

To my distraction

That's right!

We talkin' 'bout satisfaction

An' the thirst won't go away


I got my eye on heaven

I'll be goin' some day

But every time I turn around

There's a mountain in my way


Well I can't see leavin' the life I've led

An' I can't see nothin' of the road ahead

An' I know there's a-comin'

The judgement day

But the thirst won't go away


So pardon all my palpitation

I can't stand such anticipation

Got a hundred pounds of frustration

There's a mountain in my way


Now by and by

When the morning comes

When the saints of God are gathered home we'll tell the

Story of how we've overcome

For we'll understand it better by and by


Yes, I do have my eye on Heaven, but I’m workin’ on gettin’ there BEFORE I leave the planet, not after.  I know, that’s probably a weird thing to say, but when ya’ think about it, why wait till ya’ die to get to Heaven?  That seems to me to be such an old-fashioned notion. Like Heaven is some sort of reward for the good guys and Hell is some sort of punishment for the bad guys. I’ve already experienced both ends of the pendulum right here on little ol’ Planet Earth. 


No, by the time I get there, I’d like to feel immediately right at home so that the whole experience would be just like walkin’ through a door into another room.  After all, leaving here’s gonna be hard enough.  Why not just be comfortable about it.  This just isn’t my idea alone, either.  Why, my old friend, Jenny Burton, agrees with me to the nth degree. Ain’t that right, Jenny?


Heaven

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link



I don't believe in heaven

As a place up in the sky

A place where all the angels sit

As the clouds go passin' by


I don't believe in heaven

Dressed in white and gold

A city in a world up stairs

Where all of our wings unfold

And a God sits upon His throne


I see it more as a state of mind

Since my body gets left behind

I see it more

As an open door

To a life of another kind


I don't believe in heaven

As a place this side of hell

A place where all the good folks go

A place where the spirits dwell

An' ol' Peter a-rings dem bells


I see it more as a holy space

A place to pause a spiritual base

I see it more as an open door

To a kind of a quiet grace

And when all is said and done

I think that heaven

Like earth

Is what we make of it

It's a moment in the sun

It's a cleansing time

In a state of grace

It's a place where laughter reigns

Oh it's heaven

Heaven

It's heaven

Oh it's heaven


Now I believe in heaven

As a place where I belong

A state of grace a joyful space

A place I can sing my song


I'll be livin' high in this state of mind

Free from the earth

And the ties that bind

I'll walk right through

That old open door

To a life of another kind


And when all is said and done

I think that heaven

Like earth

Is what we make of it

It's a moment in the sun

It's a cleansing time

In a state of grace

It's a place where laughter reigns

Oh it's heaven

Heaven

It's heaven


Oh it's heaven

Heaven

It's heaven


Oh it's heaven

It's heaven

Yeah it's heaven

Oooooohh

It's heaven!



So, just where is it that we’re gonna end up? I haven’t got a clue. At this point, for most all of us, at best, it’s a matter of speculation. I do know this, however.  Some part of me, not my body, but some part ... is gonna continue, is gonna move on.  The best part that I can come up with can be defined with one word: Consciousness.  Some part of me is still going to be conscious of me, of life.  At the root of me, at the essence of me, is a kind of energy. Forget the material part. I don’t expect that to last, but even science knows that energy never dies, it simply transforms, evolves, changes its nature. That’s what I’m plannin’ to do. Transform, evolve and change my nature.


When it’s time, I suppose I’ll have to go, but there are clearly some things that I want to take with me and clearly some things that are going to get left behind. For instance: Here’s a song that, if you joined us from the start, you already heard several episodes ago, but it fits right in,  perfectly ... and besides, who ever said that ya’ can’t listen to a song more than once?


Yours Truly,


I Can't Remember My Name

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link


Yesterday I found myself at heaven's gate

Looking back I must have up and died

I just can't remember

What it was I did

As my last act upon the earth

Before I died


Well I probably turned the corner

At the wrong time

Or I might have stuck my finger

Through the fan

Well I hope I learned my lesson

But I guess I'll never know


But oh I remember my face

I looked back but it seemed out of place

I just laughed as I slipped into space

And the walls were so white

And the light was so bright


Well I've tried goin' back to the day I died

But I'm already over on the other side

And I can't go back cuz

I can't remember my name


[Interlude]


People that I knew and loved are fading fast

The mem'ries of my past are nearly gone

Ol' what's her name was with me

When I kicked the bucket

She said fuck it

He ain't breathin' anymore


So I might as well get on

With this new chapter

I should turn the page

And put the past away

But I keep on getting flashes

Of the way it used to be


And oh I remember the kid

Somethin' about somethin' he did

One thin thought but the rest of it slid

Down the back of my mind

And I left it behind


So I tried goin' back to the day I died

But I'm already over on the other side

And I can't go back cuz

I can't remember my name


Was it Jimmy

Was it Georgie

Was it Johnny

Was it Jerry

Was it maybe even Mary Lou

Well a hunka my mind is a-slippin' away

And I don't know what to do


Yesterday I found myself still in a jam

I don't know no longer who I am

I guess I'm like a baby

Wondering if maybe

I could take another form and try again


Well I wish I could go back

Into my family

If I only could remember

Who they are

I would smile up at my mother

As I listened for my name


But oh I'm losin' touch with the past

It all went just a little too fast

And no one told me that nothin' would last


I left my body behind

And now there goes my mind


So I tried goin' back to the day I died

But I'm already over on the other side

And I can't go back cause

I can't remember my name







No, as difficult as this ol’ world is, with its politics and its pandemics, and its recessions and its climate problems and its polarization struggles etc., etc., etc., I’m stayin’ ... because I like being me, whatever my name is. We also have something here, and that’s Love, that I’m sure exists in other places, with other states of being, but right now it’s here, it’s present in my life — in my love for music, for people, for creativity, for beauty and intelligence, and for family.  And for me, Love is just a huge plus when it comes to life on Planet Earth.


Love Is the Reason for Living

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link


We dwell in the arena

Of immense conflicting forces

Our lives are swayed by counsel

From a million diff'rent sources

As we near each troubled crossroad

With a rising tide of fear

And wonder what becomes of us

When the tidal waves appear


We cannot help but turn to God

To summon His defense

To stir instead the floodtides of love

His sustenance

His deliverance


And so we strip away the falsehood

From the truth of who we are

And commit our lives

To innocence once again


Love is the answer

Love is every answer

Love is God forgiving

Love is the reason for living

Yes love is the reason

For living


We long to stand the summit

In the pinnacles of Spirit

Where death no longer finds us

No and we no longer fear it

And the light of life surrounds us

With its infinite embrace

And Love pervades our consciousness

And evokes its change of base


Love is the answer

Love is every answer

Love is God life-giving

Love is the reason for living

Yes love is the reason

For living


Thus completes Part 1 of A Matter Of Life And Death. Please tune in to part 2 as we begin to explore the Probability of Life Eternal.


End of Part 1