Anne Cabrera composing at her piano

preface from Columbia album

(this intro is from the lin­er-notes to my CD Colum­bia: We Dare to Dream)

I did­n’t know them.  I didn’t know their names, or that they had been in space for six­teen days, or that they were called the “STS-107” crew, or even what “STS” meant.  But I was sit­ting next to my piano on the morn­ing of Feb­ru­ary 1st, 2003 when I heard the news… the awful news that the space shut­tle Colum­bia had just bro­ken apart upon reen­try, 200,000 feet high in the skies over Texas, and that the entire crew had undoubt­ed­ly per­ished.  It was unfath­omable.  I hadn’t known them, that crew of sev­en, but my heart was sud­den­ly sear­ing with pain for their fam­i­lies.

Con­tin­ue read­ing “pref­ace from Colum­bia album”
NASA space shuttle on crawler transport

Hangar Doors (Rollout)

(lin­er notes for track 1)

There must be a day, I imag­ine,
when a great ship is final­ly
born to the world…
a day unlike all the oth­ers.

The sound of horns is in the air,
call­ing all the peo­ple…

and they come from near and far,
excit­ed­ly, with such antic­i­pa­tion,
for they have worked
and dreamed of this day
for so long.

Con­tin­ue read­ing “Hangar Doors (Roll­out)”
astronauts working aboard Columbia shuttle

Payload

(lin­er notes for track 2)

Got to keep going
got to keep going
keep up the pace
what’s the next step to do
look at the check­list
look at the check­list
check it again
all must be per­fect.
eighty exper­i­ments
crammed in this ship
too many now it seems
wait­ing for me
got to keep going
got to keep going!

Con­tin­ue read­ing “Pay­load”
NASA astronaut Laurel Clark aboard Columbia STS-107

Microgravity

(lin­er notes for track 3)

They speak of it
reluc­tant­ly,
the astro­nauts of few who admit
to the sen­sa­tions
and frus­tra­tions
of the first days
in weight­less­ness:

Con­tin­ue read­ing “Micro­grav­i­ty”
full crew of space shuttle Columbia STS-107

Kalpana

(lin­er notes for track 4)

Born from hum­ble roots in Kar­nal, India, Kalpana Chawla trav­eled one of the longest and hard­est roads to become an Amer­i­can astro­naut.  Though small in stature, she became huge­ly known the world over as “Kalpana” or “K.C.”, the Indi­an girl who against all odds want­ed to become an aero­space engi­neer, the Indi­an girl who want­ed to fly and explore and who per­se­vered to make it hap­pen.

Con­tin­ue read­ing “Kalpana”

We Remember

(lin­er notes for track 5)

They were com­ing home.

They were com­ing home to us,
where we were wait­ing
so proud­ly and assured­ly.
Con­tin­ue read­ing “We Remem­ber”

Heroes

(lin­er notes for track 6)

He is the son
who puts his anger aside
and brave­ly choos­es to wear a flight suit
just like his father wore.
She is the daugh­ter
who helps her moth­er to cope
when­ev­er they think of
the wed­ding ring
that was nev­er found
in all the fields of Texas.
Con­tin­ue read­ing “Heroes”

Pleiades photo credit Dave Nash

Immortal

(lin­er notes for track 7)

It’s been a year,
or two, or more it seems,
and you’re miss­ing them,
again…
those heroes in your life
who are now gone from your life…
miss­ing them, again,
espe­cial­ly one,
one who shined so bright­ly,
one who was so very close

Con­tin­ue read­ing “Immor­tal”