The legend of the Singing Stone

Native American Indian Grail myth adapted by Asher Quinn


A young red Indian brave sets out to find the mysterious and elusive singing stone that he had heard talked about in such revered tones so often by his tribal elders. It was rumoured that no man in recent times had ever found the stone, but those that spoke of it said that anyone who ever came across it would hear such beautiful and poetic songs emanating from it that one’s heart would instantly be opened to great Divine truths. Truths that could only exist through music, not the spoken word.

So the boy sets out one day, determined that he alone would be the one to find the sacred, seemingly supernatural singing stone. He journeyed to the south and encountered wild beasts, escaping with his life only by the greatest good fortune... but although he asked many people and searched in many dangerous places, he did not find the singing stone. Some years went by and he worked at this and that to earn a living, all the while searching and searching, but the stone remained as elusive as ever. Acting on a tip, he headed west.

Here he encountered bandits, rogues and thieves, and escaped with his life only by the greatest good fortune. Though he followed many promising trails they all turned out to be misleading, and he was robbed and deceived many times. It was a dark period in the young man’s life, but he managed to learn new trades, and following a tip, headed north.

In the north country he met a woman, fell in love and they were married and had children. He settled and laid down some new roots, and used his new found trades to provide for his family. All the while he searched also for the stone. Times were still not easy, and harsh times came and went... the good times never stayed for long. But his children grew and prospered and eventually left home. His wife, alas, died before old age, and the brave... who was by now getting beyond middle age himself... was grief-stricken. That he did not die of a broken heart himself was only by the greatest good fortune, though he barely recognised that, such was his intense grief. He resolved to set out for the east, in one last attempt to unearth the legendary singing stone and finally fulfill what had always been his true heart’s desire.

In the east he made new friends, and his children visited him with his grand-children, and he told his grand-children about the singing stone and how he was still seeking it, after all these years. And their eyes went wide as he told them of his close encounters with wild beasts, and bandits, and how he met and married their grandmother. Eventually he grew old, and he felt the call to return home to his tribe whom he had not seen since he was a boy all those years ago. So he set out, weary, and in truth, perhaps a little defeated in his heart. He went many days without food, and the winter was harsh. That he survived this final journey at all was only by the greatest good fortune. He had accomplished many things, but not the one thing he craved more than any other... to find the singing stone and to hear its music, and to let the music enter his heart and fill it with Divine truths.

One day, near journey’s end, as he approached his old tribal settlement, he heard singing way in the distance. He could not hear the song clearly, but something strange stirred in his old, faintly beating heart. As he grew inexorably closer he at last could make out the words, and the song he heard was this: “Welcome home, Singing Stone... welcome home Singing Stone.” And at that he knelt and wept with joy and his heart opened to the great Divine truth of his existence. And he was complete.

The mythology behind the heart with wings

The heart with wings is an image from the Sufi tradition... the mystical aspect of Islaam. The Sufis brought great culture to Europe over the centuries... art, architecture, astronomy, mathematics, poetry, music, physics, medicine, philosophy, theology, cuisine and much, much more. They also give to the world the dancing dervishes, the whirling dancers intoxicated with the Divine. From the Sufi tradition descends the crazy mystic, the wise fool and the true seer. It is an ecstatically spiritual approach to life, an unboundaried, creative, devotional life path.

It was the Sufi way that first gave my own emotional and spiritual heart wings to fly with. Though I am of English and Russian Jewish descent, my deepest soul feels at home in this kind of ecstatic mystical expression. I have had Sufi teachers as a younger man, and paradoxically, perhaps, it has been the opening of my own heart through Sufi practices and influences that have led me to learn and love so much more about the Christian and the Jewish way, and the Daoist and shamanic ways, for that matter... in truth about all paths to self and life awareness.

The heart with wings symbolises the higher heart, the exalted heart and the re-birth of the soul to a greater reality. We are born first to the ordinary life, and then re-born to the higher life... to the non-ordinary reality... at least we are born with this opportunity. This reality is natural to a mystic. The Persian Sufi poet Rumi wrote ecstatic love songs to the Divine, about seeing the Beloved everywhere in the ordinary life, and this is what I seek to express with my own songs.

There are other mythological correspondences to the heart with wings image, too. Shamanic traditions all over the world facilitate a deeper kind of 'seeing'... a seeing into the cause behind the cause! It is not only science that can detect animal life and elemental life in stone, for instance, but intuitive poetry too. The image of a singing stone and a heart with wings complement each other, it seems to me, as both express a higher reality concealed within an ordinary one. That an apparently inert stone could have a song, and that an emotional heart could fly are subtle realities that come from a deeper matrix outside of Logos, and time and space. Such concepts come from Eros!

The heart with wings is one of the mystical symbols of the resurrected Christ as well... of renewal and creative solution in the sorrowful and forlorn human heart. For all these reasons I have chosen the heart with wings as a logo to represent Singing Stone Music, which houses all the songs I have written and performed.