Deep Waters



“Sometimes we are lucky enough to know our lives have been changed, to discard the old and embrace the new and run headlong down an immutable course. It happened to me... on that summer's day when my eyes were opened to the sea.” 
~Jacques Yves-Cousteau


DEEP WATERS, my latest project, is a gorgeous new CD composed and conceived by Peter Link.  It is a suite of 3 songs surrounded by hauntingly beautiful orchestral interludes.

From the very beginning of this project, I found myself submersed in the watery metaphor of the mariner’s tale that pervades this piece.  I realized through the course of this work that in my own life I have observed the metaphor, lived it, and come out the other side.  I believe most of us have when we think about the individual stories of our lives.

The deep waters metaphor echoes in a modern way the archetypal story of mankind:  the voyage through the deep sea in search of the unknown, and the understanding of one’s self in the process.  Take the Biblical story of Jonah and the whale, and perhaps the more ancient Odyssey by Homer as examples of this same quest. There are thousands more like these – really millions and billions if you count the lives of each human that has walked the planet – or sailed the great oceans.

So … this project, DEEP WATERS!

The orchestral introduction, Deep Waters, fills me with the power and majesty of the ocean, of its promise and of it’s demand for respect.   It is both awesome and beguiling.

This movement sweeps us into the first song, They That Go Down To The Sea In Ships.  From the initial downbeat, I DO feel as if I am on a great ship, ready to set sail, and as the Psalmist says, “do business in great waters.”

they that go by Simon_K

they that go by Simon_K

When I began learning this song, I realized that I had never read these verses from the Psalms before. It was like discovering an underwater treasure chest of both ancient and contemporary ideas and bringing it all to the surface! It was so exciting to discover these words and their huge application in our lives today:

"They that go down to the sea in ships, That do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, And his wonders in the deep."

The next orchestral piece is called The Wish.  It’s full of the longing of fulfillment -- that desire to carry through to completion that which we set out to do, no matter how grand and impossible the idea feels.  Sometimes, however, life has other plans in store for us.  So, we find ourselves, at points, plunged to the very depths.

“Deep waters” is so often the term we use to describe these moments in our lives when we are struggling through difficult or impossible circumstances.  The second song, Out of the Depths, sings this truly universal endeavor in our collective human experience:

"Out of the depths Have I cried unto thee, oh Lord. Out of the depths I cry I cry I cry Lord, hear my voice: Let thine ears hear the voice of my prayers.

Forgive me, Lord Forgive me Forgive me, Lord Forgive me

I wait for Thee oh Lord, My soul doth wait, And in Thy word I hope. I wait for you More than they that watch for the morning: More than they that watch for the morning.

Standing in the shadows I cry unto thee Bring me thy light Oh how I love thy light Thy light!

Out of the depths Now I cry unto thee, oh Lord. Out of the depths I cry I cry I cry Lord, hear my voice: Let mine eyes see the light of thine eye

Forgive me, Lord Forgive me Forgive me, Lord Forgive me

Forgive me, Lord Forgive me Forgive me, Lord Forgive me

Light Light Light!

There is forgiveness with Thee In the spiritual understanding Of Thy light

Here in Thy light I’m free"

This musical tale of the sea prods us into realizing that even in the depths of unbeatable odds, we still have the choice to give in and drown … or fight for air and live!  Oh, it’s hard sometimes, and fighting for that freedom can cost a lot in the process.

But, the reward is so great.

I learned that very concretely.  Years ago, I was driving by myself on a very congested highway during a torrential rainstorm.  I was in the second left lane of a four-lane freeway going one way, when I saw a car spin out of control in my right rear-view mirror.  I took stock of the situation quickly and realized that the car was going to hit me.  If I slammed on my brakes to avoid the hit, I too would spin out of control and hit other cars around me.  It was a no-win situation for me.  I tried to ease on my brakes and start to gradually slow down, but the car came hurtling at me, hit me, and I spun out of control.

I knew, without a doubt that I was in deep.  In that moment of realization, I was very clear that I had a choice to make: live or die.  I immediately and instinctively clung to life.  I shouted to the top of my voice, “God is my Life!”  I remember yelling out loud parts of the 91st Psalm and the 23rd Psalm over the chaos.

I chose life.

I hung on to the steering wheel for dear life, and would not let go.  My car spun over 3 lanes, crossed a median and was stopped by a guardrail.

I didn’t hit anyone in the process, although the original car slammed into 5 cars in total.  No one was seriously hurt, including me.  Though my forehead hit the windshield and my rib cage was bruised, I was healed very quickly from those injuries over the next days and several weeks.

I felt incredibly grateful that I was alive.  I had lived through it!

My reward was great!  My life had been preserved.  All lives involved were preserved.  My mighty declaration that “God is my Life” was the absolute truth that saved me and, I feel certain, the other drivers too.

In this experience, I broke up through the depths "of the sea" and took in great breaths of "air."  Then I arrived at a new sense of awareness.

When we break through, well, that’s when we arrive at a sense of stillness.

The breakthrough to stillness came to me and stayed with me over the next months, starting that day when my car came to a complete stop -- headfirst into the guardrail.  It was the beginning of my deeper gratitude to God for His/Her constant protection.  It was the beginning of my deeper understanding of this verse in Psalm 46: "Be still and know that I am God."  It was the beginning of my deeper awareness of that still small voice that comes when I'm listening.

The third song, A Still Small Voice, echoes the Biblical story of Elijah’s night in the cave when the wind and earthquake and fire rage around him.  However, then comes the stillness and the realization that the voice of God is not in the chaos, but in the quietude of one’s consciousness:



"There is something in the silence When I quiet my mind And the water’s rolling over me And the hush it is endless And the song runs free And the voice is like a melody

And the time shall come When the choice is made And the voice deep inside Will stay with me and be my guide Through the waters ahead

It’s a still small voice Oh a still small voice Oh a still small voice Calling to me"

The finale is an orchestral and vocal piece called Smooth Sailing.  I hope that you will take this journey of music and lyrics and listen with the wisdom of your own experience.  This journey through DEEP WATERS is your journey.  It’s my journey. It’s ours for the striving, the growing and the blessing.  And it has been so since ancient times.

“Now I wish you smooth sailing over the deep waters.”

All lyrics quoted  in this blog post were written and adapted by Peter Link


DEEP WATERS will be released on June 11th.  A free downloadable digibook will soon be available --  complete with lyrics as well as Peter Link’s and my thoughts on the making of this CD.  Also, keyboard/vocal sheet music for the three songs will be available then as well on I hope you will join in and listen, or sing your own story of this grand adventure!

Read more now about Deep Waters on Peter Link's blog, Sparks From The Fire!