This idea has been with me a lot in the last week. This Presidential race has me reeling. With the leading Republican candidate (a/k/a He Who Shall Not Be Named) being as divisive and separatist and bullying and trash-talking as possible and the Socialist from Vermont wanting opportunity and equality for all, we are really riding a large pendulum here, swinging from one side of a seeming abyss to another. And I'm desperately trying to find balance in my life. Not easy, under the circumstances.
Last night, I had the great privilege of hearing and meeting the AMAZING Jake Heggie, composer of Dead Man Walking, Moby Dick, Three Decembers, Great Scott, as well as an impressive amount of song repertoire and vocal chamber music. (Check out my Media page for recordings of "This Journey" from DMW and video of my performance of his song cycle, "The Deepest Desire". These are some of my favorite pieces to sing. Ever. He's fantastic.) Mr. Heggie doesn't take anything for granted. I was moved to tears just hearing him speak last night about his gratitude, his joy, his love of collaborating. I was moved to tears by his music. And when I had the opportunity to shake his hand and introduce myself, I couldn't help but cry. This man, this great artist, understands what art AND LIFE are all about. It's so obvious in his music, his speech, his demeanor. I was so motivated and inspired last night by his music and his words, his presence and his energy -- I don't think my life will ever be the same again. My purpose is renewed, and my faith restored.
So today I was watching this video going around Facebook, and it had me in tears.
It is about community, people. About bringing beauty and love and growth to the world. We have gotten into our heads the sorry notion that money, power, fame, and success are the goal, the answer, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. It's just not true. We are greedy because we are unhappy. And we are unhappy because, despite our constant effort, we can't meet the expectations that a chosen few have laid out for us. We try to fill the void with those things that we're told make us important. Money will never make you happy. It can help, surely. I'm not advocating abandoning our cities and our economy to live on ashrams (though I have so say, the lure of that life is INTENSE these days). Now, more than ever, the need for education and music and art and critical thinking and creative expression is SUPREME. We are a GLOBAL COMMUNITY. I for one have had enough of hate and self-hatred, of fear and bullying, of go-go-go and the physical and emotional strain and pain it brings, of mocking another person to make oneself feel better or smarter or superior. I'm not saying, "Down with science! Down with progress!" But I am saying that science and progress had better consider the GLOBAL COMMUNITY. The actions of one person can affect so, so many. Sending big love to you all today, and wishing you peace. And if you have a gift for bringing beauty to the world, for sharing love and community and art and creativity, I beg of you, BRING IT. SHARE IT. LIVE IT.
Sending you love and blessings today. Thanks for reading.