Two Dog Tales

Annie's Om From Home

By Annie Stocker
From the Mid-March 2015 Two Dog Newsletter


When I was growing up all kinds of music was part of our daily family life. My father, who had been in a barber shop quartet in college, purchased a homemade guitar at a neighbor's garage sale. At bedtime I remember him strumming and singing such 'kid-friendly' songs as Leadbelly's Midnight Special and Woody Guthrie's Jesse James. As  a young child in the late 60's our family attended, along with strange, strong-smelling and long-haired, bell-bottomed hippies, the Schwenksville Folk Festival. While living in London in the early 70's we attended many of the Sadler's Well's productions of Gilbert and Sullivan, including Mikado and Pirates of Penzance, and many classic London Royal Opera productions including Fidelio, La Traviata and my favorite, Die Fledermaus. My brother has since become an accomplished musician, sharing and making music with kids and adults across the midwest as his career. My sister was member of a Seattle Slavic chorus and is also still sharing her creative social activist juices through music at many local events. I never thought I could sing, I could not hold a tune and was too much of an introvert to be on stage and lead others in voice... but I knew that music touched me deeply. It was in my cells. So I loved attending concerts as a teen... The Who, Earth Wind and Fire, David Bromberg, Grateful Dead, Bruce Cockburn and Bob Marley are few I remember well.

Playing music to my kids, such as Raffi, John McCutchen and my favorite album as A Child's Fable Forest. Then after many years of teaching yoga in 2004 and still thinking the Hare Krishnas in the airports chanting Ram Ram Ram was kind of weird, Gina Salá reached out to me to ask if she could play at Two Dog. And she did... many times while she lived in Lake City near Two Dog and taught voice and offered kirtan/community chant. She offered classes in which she sang songs, chants and lullabies from all over the world. And as young children before they had a say in it, my kids attended the kirtans. When Gina sang a song she wrote, Because the One I Love Lives Inside of You, ("I lean as close to you as I can") I would extract my kids from their fort in the yoga prop storage area and pull them into my arms and hug them in close to me. She invited me to sing with my voice which springs from my heart... 

And I now chant Om at the beginning of my classes or perhaps  a mantra that I learned from Gina.

Lokha Samastah Sukinoh Bavantu. May all beings have peace and ease, or a yogic invocation, or a simple chant.

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. Om Peace, Peace, Peace.

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