What You May Not Know About Our Kate
After so many years, 44 to be exact, Kate Munger is very much dug into our West Marin lives. She’s hard to miss, either swimming in the bay year round, or just walking where we walk, never solitary for long. Kate and some of her fellow naiads swim early and often. Her favorite swims are in winter when the bay is full of ducks and other critters, most definitely not a lot of humans.
We all know her for her warmth, her fabulous crafty necklaces and most of all for that voice, ah that voice. Her grandmother built a house here in 1963 when Kate was a teenager and very unwilling to spend much time away from her Oakland buddies. Gradually, the buddies became more and more out here, not over there. She dug in permanently around 1971.
What many of us do know about Kate is she married Jim Fox and had a son, Kalloch, and built a house and sang with friends and sang for the joy of it in workshops and meetings of all descriptions. Until about fifteen years ago when she “got called.” Since then, she says, the purpose for and in her life has been reaching out with her voice. She started the Threshold Choir, “a network of a cappella choirs…whose mission is to sing for and with those at the thresholds of life.” That network has grown to 130 choirs around the world including, for example, Cambodia and Australia. The choirs are mostly women, and simply stated, the members “are making kindness audible.” Much more about the Threshold Choirs can be found on their gorgeous website: www.thresholdchoir.org
There are youtubes available as well:
Asked what others may not know about her, Kate speaks about the work of balancing her need to work widely and far to grow the choirs and her pressing wish to remain a part of West Marin, renewing old friendships and resisting the urge (one so many of us share) to just hunker down and look out the window. And boy oh boy has she got a reason. Kate lives way up on the Inverness Ridge, so high up she really can see seemingly forever. She is a committed watcher of rain and storm and wind and whatever else appears before her. So it’s sometimes a deep pleasure to just be up there, to allow her need for quiet and creative work and drinking amazing tea which she buys in bulk, she says, with a certain shyness.
Back to Kate’s inner/outer life balancing act: she says she’s always been an extrovert. It used to be common for her to greet people she hadn’t seen around with a warm, “Hi, I think you’re new here, right?” This was delivered with no trace of shyness and a huge smile. If we lined up everyone Kate has sung with in West Marin, everyone she’s swum with in West Marin, and everyone she’s made deep friends with in West Marin, the line would stretch maybe from Chicken Ranch to Heart’s Desire, not surprisingly many of those folks in the bay.
Now Kate is a grandma to two boys who live close by. They call her Maha and Fox Paha. She has a brewing plan to take a long, circuitous drive with a dear friend in an RV to visit many of those 130 choirs around the country and, by her passionate presence, remind them of the glorious work they do and how much they gain thereby.