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By Kara Noble

no birdsongI came to the Hoffman process with excited expectation and just a little dread. Who would I be in a week’s time? The location of White Sulphur Springs is such a perfect retreat, a safe haven in which to get to know myself.

On the first day I noticed that there were few birds in our little valley. In my mind, it became more unusual the more I pondered on it. I made notes that turned into a poem, and then I set the idea to music using James Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James.” I finished it on the last exhausting night and sang it to my class at the end of our final ceremony. I hope it ignites memories in your brave heart – I can only play it to fellow Hoffs!

No Birdsong

By Kara Noble
The place I was drawn to was silent as snow
Dragging my sadness at how I felt broken
Yearning for guidance on how to crack open
With other brave searchers in need of a magic glow
No sound in the trees and no peace in our hearts
We hope to appease a deep yearning in / side
A lonely confusion that sets us apart
It drags us along on a heartbreaking ride
A pain we can no longer hide

Now everyone’s such a fighter
Everyone’s bashing their blame
Taking our stands with our poor tired hands
All gratitude-filled that we came.
/ We go by our childhood name

A place with no birdsong is strangely forlorn
Did they fly away from the pain of our patterns?
A need to escape on account of our battin’
No dawn chorus chirping – no cheers for the tired and worn
But free of transference I soon realized
They weren’t hiding out – that’s not why they don’t / call
They’re bowing their heads and averting their eyes
To HONOR the breakthroughs and HONOR us all
/ And witness each soul standing tall

/ Now everyone’s shining brighter
No one holds on to their shame
Gone are the blues when we’re all free to choose
Our dark side just went up in FLAMES!
/ Now Hoffman’s our family – name!

About Kara: I am a British voice artist living in Woodland Hills CA. In the UK, I was part of a morning radio “Zoo” format – chat, laughs, competitions, travel…. I am currently the voice of Ms. B in the cartoon, Treasure Trekkers. I also work in mosaic, and am currently creating a large project in my back garden. This also allows me to shop in thrift stores for ugly china to smash and put on the wall, which makes me very happy.

I recorded the song lyrics I wrote on a Karaoke track in my little studio after my latest Q2. I had performed it there in our small group with Hoffman teacher Jo Mattoon. I usually write song parodies for fun, but this one makes me cry when I hear it, as it brings back that amazing excitement, joy, tears, and camaraderie that was my Hoffman week.

  • Irina Zaharia


    05/05/20 at 8:26 AM

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem, Kara! It captures our experience so well. What a gift it was and still is!

  • Nancy Rose


    05/04/20 at 9:19 AM

    Kara, what a gift it was to sing this in my head to the tune of “Sweet Baby James”! It captures the Hoffman transformation beautifully. Thank you!

  • Kara


    05/04/20 at 7:22 AM

    This is beautiful! Can we hear the recording? Much love and light…

    • Shawn


      05/04/20 at 9:51 AM

      Unfortunately, because of copyright laws, we cannot publish Kara’s recording with the music. We can have her contact you directly to share what she can. Thanks!

  • Sharon Ornstein


    05/04/20 at 6:50 AM

    What a lovely post! Kara, I would love to hear you sing this song…

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