"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Singing With Strangers

     This is a time, isn't it? A time in which people standing side by side can listen to the same words coming out of someone's mouth and hear radically different things. It is amazing to me, but it is not a new thing in the history of humanity. Remember, now more than ever, many of us have voices speaking in our heads, from screens and ear-buds and radios and speakers, when we drive we hear voices, when we eat, when we run, when we wait for our cars to be serviced, when we wait to see the doctor. Some of those voices we choose for ourselves, because they give us pleasure or information, or comfort. That is not true for all of them.
An anecdote:
      I was sitting in the waiting room in a doctor's office recently and asked if they would please turn off the TV, because it was running a rant from one side or the other of the latest political clash, and they told me -no, it had to be on, so the people in the waiting room wouldn't hear anything from the examination rooms and possibly compromise someone's confidentiality.-
        Is that a thing? Could that possibly be true?  Of course it could be true, and probably is.  I couldn't stand the noise, so I leaned back, closed my eyes, and began to sing, to keep myself from hearing the TV.  The receptionist asked me to please not do that because I was bothering the other patients in the waiting room. I turned and asked the others if I was bothering them, and they said no; as a matter of fact they smiled and asked me to keep singing and I did.  Some of them even sang along on the songs they knew. We sang America The Beautiful and This Land Is Your Land, The Rock Island Line, and a couple of songs from The Music Man (yes, Ann, one of the ladies and I did the Pool Table monologue together...everyone clapped.) The poor receptionist was bumfoozled, but we were happy and one of the others walked over, in the middle of a song, and turned down the volume on the TV a little....because it was bothering us. True story.

All that to say this:
    You are an adult, you know right from wrong, surely you know when someone is pulling the wool over your eyes.  Trust your own heart; if you get a 'bad feeling' about someone, or something that is being preached at you, that's probably your intuition telling you to be careful and do some research to unearth the truth of the matter. Be who you are, not who the world or some talking head tells you you need to be. You do not need to be perfect or perfectly in step with the galloping hoards of public opinion. Listen and think and try to make an informed decision. And there's this: be who you truly are. That's all I have to say about that.

2. Do you remember E.E. Cummings, the modern American poet who was widely popular in the '70s?

"anyone lived in a little how town
(with up so floating many bells down).."


" i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes"

Right, that E. E. Cummings, the one with weird punctuation and shaped poems (to grab your attention and make you to think harder about the words in-between).  Here are a couple of quotes by Mr. Cummings that I came upon recently and would like to share with all of you. No, this has nothing to do with politics. This is not a critique of anyone. These are good words that it never hurts to repeat.
        This first one is for all of you currently rearing children, and by that I mean are in the process of teaching them basic life skills, information, and the language of social skills so they will be able to live and flourish in a civilized society. Remember to see to this part too (it may be the most difficult for you...it was for me): the discovering of who they are within their unique selves.  It is so easy to imagine that our children are little clones of ourselves. They are not; they may resemble us physically but their spirits and their personalities are their own and probably very different from ours. We should honor those differences, which means having the grace and courage to step out of their way as they develop and and let them become who they were created to become. That new creation within them is the gift they were meant to bring to the world. We should help them.

"We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit."  

and this one:

"To be nobody but yourself, in a world that is doing its best, night and day, to make you into everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and keep on fighting." 


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