Dear Tom – Suzy and I have returned from a long drive to Dallas and back. We stopped over in Little Rock, and then on to Dallas. It was great to see family and friends over Thanksgiving. Kelley joined us in Dallas which really made the holiday special. It was fascinating to listen to Walter, Missy, and her talk about music and how much they enjoy parts of the music of our time, and yet have artists they love I don’t even recognize. They all loved many different types of music, they weren’t limited to one artist or style of music.
After 4 days in the car listening to music, my relationship to music is on my mind. Each of us knows what type of music we love, and each of us has unique taste. Our lives are unique as well. Like music, we improve our lives by learning what it is and how it contributes to the symphony of life. In 1934, a seventeen year old girl took the stage on amateur night planning to dance, but the act before her was a dance duo that was so good she felt she couldn’t follow it so she decided to sing instead. The girl was Ella Fitzgerald. She had never sung in public. But a soon as she stepped onstage, the core story of her life awakened, and she began to sing. Her gift comes from the very depth of her soul.
Ella has passed on, but her death has not ended music. It is created daily through the voices of others. Each of us are called to find our uniqueness – our voice in this life. We need to find our gifts and allow them to come forward in order to combat the mass culture that seeks to obliterate uniqueness in favor of bland sameness. There’s a story, a song, a poem in each of our souls, and we need to live it out in order to find out how it’s going to end.
Your friend, Webb