“Maria’s Cards from Heaven” is a song inspired by a human rights activist from El Salvador, and by a mysterious card from the sky. Here’s the story:
We sat sharing coffee, my friend Barbara and I, as a white card fluttered from the sky into my back yard. It didn’t seem like litter…it was solitary and looked pristine. Barbara retrieved it.
Written on this index card, scrawled in pencil, began a story: “My name is Maria Julia Hernandez.” Maria wrote that she was from El Salvador, where she led the fight for human rights amid the wars that claimed so many lives. And the story ended In mid sentence.
We searched the internet, and found that Maria was a real person, a beloved Salvadoran activist. She was beside Archbishop Romero when the soldiers murdered him. She founded an important rights group, and she died a decade ago. Amazingly, when Barbara asked her niece in El Salvador, she replied that she had raised money for Maria’s organization.
It’s possible that the index card from the sky was written by a student for a history project. I choose to think otherwise. While I’m not very religious, I think that in retrieving the falling card, we may have entered the mythology of a fallen hero. So I wrote her song for her.
Maria’s Cards from Heaven on Soundcloud.