In Love With the Mystery
The two simply radiate warmth and kindness so it's not surprising to find this book and CD both thought provoking, and inspirational.
WD: How did the process of getting up early begin?
AM: I started 35 years ago getting up at five a.m. And I used to just meditate and read. I liked the quiet before the activity of the day. Paul gave me a beautiful book that had photographs and on each page there were seven spaces for the day where you write dentist appointments etc.
I couldn't bear to write anything in it except things that meant something to me so I decided that for a year I would get up at five in the morning and religiously put something in. It started this fabulous process and these beautiful writings started coming. Then I'd wake Paul and say, “Oh my god, look what came today” (laughs).
WD: Your book is very spiritual. Where does your spirituality come from?
AM: I have a very eclectic spirituality: that's why I called the book In Love With the Mystery. When I was very young I was a very strong born-again Christian. Then when I thought “If my love is a tiny thing, and I could never condemn anyone to eternal damnation, how could god who is love even dream up such a thing?” That set me off questing.
Then I became really interested in Hinduism and in meditation. For practitioners of this belief, Jesus is a totally evolved human being who has manifested and brought heaven to earth through his own nature, so I loved that idea.
Then I became fascinated in Buddhism. Then I was drawn, without ever wanting to be or thinking about it, into the whole Shamanic tradition.
My life has been pulled by my fascination with the mysteries and it's been named many, many things along the way, but ultimately I just like to just call it the great mystery now.
WD: Why did you decide to share these moments beyond Paul, with all of us?
AM: I never once thought, “This would be a beautiful book.” It never entered my mind until my sister-in-law and brother, Nancy and Peter Mortifee, came to visit us in Arizona.
Nancy saw the book and thought it was something else. She opened it up and saw the tiny, tiny writing; as the year went by my handwriting had gotten smaller and smaller. She said, “Could I read this? I just fascinated.”
She started reading it and said, “Oh, Annie, this should be a book!” I told her that I hadn't even thought of that. She said, “I can do that for you. Why don't I help you put it together?”
So she just totally took it over. I don't think that I ever would have come to that myself. It just felt like it was meant to be.
WD: What inspired you to put music to the words?
AM: Because I happen to be married to the most beautiful man on earth (laughs).
PH: Flattery will get you everywhere (laughs).
AM: Paul and I had wanted to do some projects together and we just suddenly said, “Wouldn't it be beautiful to take some of the writings and put them to music. We called Ed Henderson and Miles Black, two of the most exquisite musicians in Vancouver and said, “What do you think? Would you like to do this with us?” and they said, "Absolutely!"
We met in the studio and literally all I said was, “Let's listen deeply to each other and just flow with each other and allow...if something is meant to come it will come, if it's not, it won't”
Eddie asked, “How should we begin?” and then he said, “Paul, why don't you begin?” and that was it: forty-five minutes later, there we were.
WD: There was no rehearsal.
PH: All of us are used to what we call a free form. There's no form to it, other than being spontaneous. And we all know the language of music so we use the language spontaneously, as we're talking now, using our language spontaneously.
That's what musicians do when they improvise. We just listened to each other and if we felt like playing something we played something: but of course, our ears are attuned to each other and it came out beautifully.
AM: All of us at the end of it just looked at each other and went, "Oh my goodness," and then we went back and listened and went (gasps)...
What was strange for me, in one case, was that I could see on the page the next words that were coming, because I had taken little excerpts out of the book, and I was about to say the word “silence” when suddenly the music just flowed down and went into silence just as I said the word. It was we were definitely being orchestrated. There's no question.
WD: It's a beautiful CD.