Well it is Sunday here in the Bluegrass. The sun is setting, a pouting pink panoply in the sky after a day of mostly sunshine (accompanied by the daily hard and fast rain shower in the late afternoon). With the end of the weekend comes the realization that I must put my mind in workday mode soon and that being the case, it is Sunday night that gives me a chance to pause to reflect and give thanks for those who inspire me.
There are a lot of people who give me a reason to run faster, jump higher in life. They're not splashy folks, necessarily. They are musicians and poets and writers and singers that most likely aren't found on the front pages of the weekly calendars that you find in print. These are people who create their art because they love to do it, who find windows of artistic opportunity and open it wide are my heroes -- people like James Bellando, who is a blues musician from Berea, Kentucky. Bellando's band, Sofa King Deluxe can be found playing small but valuable venues like the Paddy Wagon in Richmond, Tin Roof in Lexington and at private parties.
Bellando has a contagious spirit, a bluesy voice and a guitar style that is undeniably compelling. Apart from all of that, he has always been kind to me and never made me feel less-than. For someone with his talent, that's saying something because ego is sometimes a difficult entity to harness, especially when fame and fortune have tarnished the looking glass a bit.
At any rate, you, too, can hear his music by clicking on the link below. Enjoy...
Someone else who inspires me is Mary Violet, a sweet young lady who is a senior in high school, and yet she chooses to sing in my choir, to which some of the members have belonged for over 50 years.
Mary Violet is always happy to update me on the happenings in her teenage world, and it's been fun to follow her this past year as she was crowned homecoming queen, to hear her tell of going to Africa last year on a mission, to see her prom photos in her very Snookie-like get-up. Apart from being a socially and spiritually conscious individual, Mary Violet is an outstanding singer and musician, and her outgoing personality will take her far in life. She is young, yet behaves as if she knows what it's all about, and that is, happiness is all about giving to others. She'll be graduating soon, and will be attending Georgetown College. This is good news not only because I think it's a great school, but also because she'll still be close to us. After enjoying her last year as a high school student, I'm not ready to see her go off to a faraway school just yet.
In fact, I must admit that Mary Violet has renewed my hope in the youth of tomorrow. When some kids shy away from older people like me, it's nice to meet someone who has no boundaries when it comes to new friends.
Soo, it's hip to be nice? Cool!
Having said that, it's not surprising that I have a few other pals who are musically inclined who nourish my soul and feed my faith with their voices and instrumentality. In fact, everyone in my choir inspires me, as week after week, year after year, we meet twice a week and are led in and out of wonderfully composed musical passages. We pray for each other, we celebrate one another's joys, we know each other as well as several dozens of people can. I think this is part of the joy that comes with being a member of a choir...yet it is still something that is undefinable, except to note that as human beings, we are the only species who are earthbound who can sing in concert with one another. I think we should do it more often, because singing in unison helps us lose our Self while it also provides the opportunity to harmonize.
I'll stop yammering now about all that, but here is a prayer we shared today in worship. I hope you find meaning in it:
you prepare a place for us,
in the home of the Mother-and-Father of us all.
Draw us more deeply into yourself,
through scripture read,
so that when our hearts are troubled,
we will know you more completely
as the way,
the truth, and the life.
peace to you all,